Our family law attorneys have the knowledge and experience to represent any client in all divorce matters from the most basic, uncontested divorce, to highly complex financial and custody disputes. Whether you are hoping to utilize alternative dispute resolution, or need a team of attorneys to advocate for your position in court, our firm has the resources to provide the highest level of family representation possible.
Parentage and Paternity
In parentage cases, also called “paternity cases,” the court legally establishes who a child’s parents are. These cases often arise when the parents have a child outside the formalities of marriage. Often times, paternity cases progress similarly to that of a traditional divorce, where issues of child support, parenting time, etc. are litigated.
Post Divorce Modifications and Enforcement
Commonly referred to as post-judgement or post-decree matters, post-divorce disputes include enforcement of divorce judgements, orders and modifications of those judgements. Enforcement actions may become necessary when a party is late paying support, creates problems with visitation or does not fulfill a duty imposed by the court or agreed to in a settlement. If a party’s income changes or the needs of the other party increase, modification of child support and/or maintenance may be necessary. These types of post-decree financial disputes often require the same level of complex financial analysis and expertise as the pre-decree phase of the case.
Family Law Appeals
Dussias Wittenberg Koenigsberger litigators handle cases in State and Federal courts, at both the trial and appellate levels. Through carefully crafted appeals, we can obtain real, measurable results for our clients when other methods—and, in some cases, other firms—have not produced an acceptable outcome. In one recent matter, the appellate court struck down a portion of a support agreement, vacating a decision from three years earlier and sending the case back to the lower court for a better resolution.
Prenuptial and Postmarital Agreements
Individuals contemplating first or second marriage often consider entering into a formal agreement with their fiancé or spouse to preserve their financial rights. Business owners, athletes, entertainers, and individuals consider signing Prenuptial Agreements before marriage or Postnuptial Agreements after the marriage to protect their interests. Our approach to Pre & Post Nuptial Agreements is not designed to be punitive toward a prospective spouse, but rather to clearly define each parties’ rights and obligations going into a marriage in an effort to help avoid those types of disputes at any point in the future and to remove the decision-making of those disputes from third parties. It can also be useful in helping to avoid the tremendous cost and acrimony of contested divorce litigation.
Domestic Violence and Orders of Protection
Domestic violence and abuse comes in many forms and is not always obvious to an outside observer. Our attorneys are able to assist you in obtaining legal protection for you and your children while offering insights as to how the issues of domestic violence and abuse impact divorce, custody cases or other family law related matters. It is critical for individuals subject to domestic violence and abuse to have an experienced advocate to help navigate the intricacies of this process.
Maintenance and Spousal Support
Maintenance, formerly called alimony, is a payment from one spouse to support the other who is incapable of supporting him or herself in their former marital lifestyle once the marriage ends. The award of maintenance is a two-step process: (1) determination of whether a party is entitled to maintenance; and if the party is so entitled, (2) determination of the amount and duration of the award. Our attorneys excel at developing a lifestyle analysis to evaluate the optimum spousal support needed.
Division of Property
Dividing property in a divorce is complex. All property acquired following a marriage is presumed to be marital property and subject to equitable distribution by the court. Property must be categorized as either marital or non-marital. Generally, property acquired during the marriage is presumptively marital property whereas non-marital property includes property owned by a party prior to marriage. However, property acquired during a marriage may be non-marital if it was acquired in exchange for property owned prior to marriage or was acquired by a party as a gift or an inheritance. Our firm has vast experience litigating these issues.
Illinois law applied to LGBTQ individuals facing dissolution and separation continues to evolve. The historic United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges decided in 2015 expanded the same rights and responsibilities to the LGBTQ community in marriage and divorce. Having represented same sex couples, our attorneys are able to navigate this unique and complex area of law to put legislation into real legal practice.