Family Law Attorney Lake Forest, IL
Is Mediation the Best Way to Obtain a Divorce?
When one or both members of a married couple determine that divorce is the healthiest option available to them, each spouse is compelled to grapple with the emotional, physical, practical and legal realities of the divorce process. Transitioning from a home, social circle and daily life shared as a married couple to singledom can be overwhelming. Thankfully, you do not have to navigate certain critical aspects of the divorce process alone. Working with an experienced Lake Forest, Illinois family law attorney will allow you to pursue your divorce-related goals while remaining practically supported by knowledgeable legal guidance.
When you schedule a consultation with a Lake Forest, IL family law attorney at Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC, he or she will ask you about your current situation, your divorce-related priorities and how you want to approach the legal process of dissolving your marriage. Before you meet with an attorney, it will be helpful to think about these things and to jot down any thoughts and/or questions you may have that are relevant to your situation. One of the many considerations you are likely contemplating is how you should approach your divorce so that you can reach your financial and/or child custody goals.
There are three primary approaches that couples take when formalizing their decisions to divorce. The first is a traditional contested approach. This approach tends to work best when spouses have fundamental differences about property division and/or child custody that they do not believe they can compromise on. Under this model, each spouse’s attorney mounts a legal case in front of a judge and the judge decides how the couple’s divorce orders will be structured.
The second approach is mediation. This approach works well when spouses are willing to discuss their differences and compromise in regards to the terms of their divorce orders. Mediation involves each spouse and each attorney sitting down together in the presence of a third-party neutral mediator. Rather than taking sides, the mediator simply helps to ensure that sessions progress and are productive. Relatively amicable divorces and divorces involving few serious disagreements about terms may be approached via mediation. It is often cost-effective and is often an efficient way to approach divorce, so mediation should be considered if it is likely to help you achieve your divorce-related goals.
Finally, attorney-led negotiation is an option that functions somewhere in the “middle ground” between a traditional contested process and mediation. This model allows the attorneys for each spouse to negotiate terms while largely allowing each spouse to remain as involved or as removed from that negotiation process as makes sense. This option works well for couples who want to stay out of court but don’t want to have to sit in the presence of one another as terms are discussed.
Divorce Assistance Is Available
If you have questions about the divorce process, please consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced Lake Forest, IL family law attorney. Because no two marriages progress in exactly the same way, no two divorce processes progress in exactly the same way either. As a result, it is generally a good idea to speak with an attorney before committing to a divorce-related legal approach. Once an attorney learns about the unique nature of your circumstances, your goals for the process and your priorities, he or she will be able to advise you of your options accordingly and help you craft a strong divorce strategy. Working with a Lake Forest, IL family law attorney attorney does not commit you to taking any specific actions, so please do not hesitate to reach out with questions as you are considering your options.
Parenting Plan Considerations During Divorce
When parents decide that it is no longer healthy for them to remain romantically linked, a number of considerations must be taken into account before they can move into the next phase of their lives. For example, the law generally requires co-parents to become subject to a parenting agreement as part of a child custody order. Regardless of whether parents are ultimately granted joint custody or not, if both adults intend on remaining part of their child’s life, they are usually subject to a parenting agreement. If the couple in question cannot agree on terms of the parenting arrangement, a judge will be compelled to order terms as he or she sees fit. But nowadays, most parents going through a romantic split opt to work with their attorneys in order to negotiate and/or mediate the terms of their parenting agreement so that those terms remain fully within their control. If you have questions about how to construct a successful parenting agreement, an experienced Lake Forest, Illinois family law attorney can help.
Co-Parents – How to Plan Ahead for Vacations and Holidays
One of the more controversial issues that parents must generally navigate when determining the terms of their parenting agreement involves the treatment of special occasions, holidays and vacations. There is no single “right” way to address these special times of year, as long as the parents keep the “best interests of the child” standard in mind while navigating related terms. An experienced Lake Forest, IL family law attorney will likely ask each parent to consider what they believe is an ideal schedule for these times of year and to write down any questions, concerns or special provisions they believe are appropriate in order to ensure that their child’s best interests are represented during these times. After each parent has explored their preferences and concerns, each parent’s attorney will try to help negotiate and/or mediate a settlement that best reflects the child’s interests. Making sure that each parent has the opportunity to participate and share in traditions will almost certainly be a focal point with which to begin a discussion about this part of a co-parenting arrangement.
I don’t agree with the Family Court ruling. Can I appeal it?
Family court in the state of Illinois will be responsible for making decisions related to any family matter, such as divorce, child support, child custody, paternity, division of assets, and so forth. There is no way to get around having to appear in family court when you are settling a family related issue. In general, it will be up to a judge to make a final ruling on the matter at hand; however, there are statutes that enable a party to appeal certain orders. If you do not agree with a judge’s decision, or you feel a mistake was made, it is advisable to consult a Lake Forest, IL family law attorney to determine whether or not you can appeal your case.
Can a Family Court Ruling Be Appealed?
As a family lawyer in Lake Forest, IL might explain to you, some rulings can be appealed. In general, if you wish to pursue this, a request will be made to a higher court, and a judge or panel of judges. The judge(s) will review the case, the decision made by the lower court, and your reason for appeal. Typically, at this point in the appeals process, you won’t be able to present any new evidence that supports your grounds for an appeal. The purpose of this review is to determine whether or not the judge acted within their discretion. If the judge(s) believe the previous judge did act accordingly, the decision will likely be upheld.
Can You Appeal a Final Order?
In most states, the only cases that can be appealed are those that are considered to be final orders. For instance, a divorce decree may be a final order. In this decree may be instructions for the distribution of assets or alimony. It is possible to ask the appellate court to review temporary orders, but usually they will only do so when certain circumstances apply. For example, if a temporary order gave your soon to be ex-spouse temporary custody of your child, and you believe the child is at risk, you may appeal the order. You should only do so with the help of a Lake Forest, IL family law attorney.
Examples of Issues that You May Be Able to Appeal
As previously mentioned, you will not be able to appeal any, or all, family law cases. Typically, the grounds for an appeal must include:
A Mistake Was Made – If you believe there has been an error in the court proceeding, you may be able to file an appeal. A family lawyer in Lake Forest, Illinois can review this to help you determine whether your suspicions are true. An example of an error would include: A parent, convicted of domestic violence, and be ordered to attend anger management classes before they are able to have custody of the children. However, the judge granted custody without reviewing any proof of the parent going to these classes.
There Has Been a Factual Mistake – If a judge reached the conclusion that no other person could have actually reached based upon the discovery process and evidence presented, it may be considered a mistake in fact. For example, if a parent, convicted of a sex crime, was awarded custody of a child, and the other parent is fit and has no criminal record, it may be a valid mistake in fact. You should ask a Lake Forest, IL family law attorney to help you appeal this decision.
If you would like to know whether or not you can appeal a judge’s decision, call a Lake Forest, IL family law attorney today from Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC.
Legal Guidance Is Available
If you have questions about child custody matters generally and/or parenting plans specifically, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with an experienced Lake Forest, IL family law attorney today. Every child’s best interests are unique, just as every child is unique. As a result, there is no “right” way to go about constructing a parenting plan as long as the ultimate product reflects the best interests of your unique child. Working with an experienced Lake Forest, IL family law attorney will help to ensure that whether your child custody situation is amicable or contentious, your child’s best interests are represented when the outcome of your case is determined. Consultations are confidential and risk-free, so there is no reason to hesitate when scheduling an initial meeting with a member of our legal team. The team at Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC prides itself on providing strong advocacy for our clients while maintaining an efficient yet compassionate approach and we would be happy to discuss your unique circumstances with you as you explore your legal options. We look forward to taking your call.