Finding the Right Representation: What to Look For in a Divorce Attorney

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Divorce affects every area of your life, from how your family interacts to your finances, so finding the right divorce attorney is important to help navigate the process. The ideal divorce representative will be experienced, informative, and ensure you’re as comfortable as possible throughout the process.

Look for a lawyer the same way you would look for a surgeon — as if your life depended on it,” New York attorney Michael P. Mossberg told CNBC. “The divorce is not only going to cost you money: Your future depends on how it is resolved.”

In some cases, couples get along well enough to draft their own proposed terms for their divorce agreements. In these cases, an attorney is still needed to go over legal details to finalize and file with the Court. Often though, couples are not well-versed in the legal matters surrounding a divorce and need an experienced attorney to help walk them through the process.
Divorce can be costly and emotional, but having an experienced family law attorney on your side will help make it less painful, both financially and personally. Here are a few key things to look for:

Take Stock of Your Comfort Level

When choosing divorce attorney, you should take time to interview attorneys and see how comfortable you feel around them. The best option will be someone who listens to what you want, helps you understand complex legal issues, and has a calm temperament. Remember that you’ll be sharing extremely personal information about your marriage and your finances with this person. Similarly, divorce can be emotionally charged and draining, so having someone there who is calm and supportive throughout the process will be helpful. 

Do not mistakenly assume a courtroom advantage will result from a tough-talking attorney in consultation, as ultimately it is your attorney’s ability to logically present to the judge that your case has more merit — not just an attorney with the loudest arguments.

Find Someone With Experience Specifically In Family Law

There are plenty of attorneys out there who can work on divorce cases, but not all of them actually specialize in family law. Especially if you have children, working with an experienced family law attorney is crucial. To become board-certified in family law, attorneys in many states have to have trial experience and take additional tests. There are also continuing education requirements to maintain certification. Board-certified family lawyers are often more expensive than other attorneys, but the experience is worth it and will mean more efficient and effective processes. These attorneys are more familiar with child custody, property division, and other issues specific to divorce and family law. To this end, it’s also a good idea to hire someone who works in your jurisdiction, as there’s a higher chance they’ll have worked with the judge previously.

Look for An Attorney Who Keeps You In the Loop

There’s nothing worse than not knowing what’s going on in your own case. Look for a lawyer who communicates with you clearly — not in legal jargon. Similarly, find an attorney who will keep you in the loop with regular updates and answer your questions and calls in a timely manner. Because it can be hard to tell these things from an initial interview–many attorneys could easily say what you want to hear at first–ask around for recommendations, check their websites and online legal directories for details on their years of experience, or look for reviews of specific attorneys online.

Randall Kessler, chairman of the American Bar Association’s Family Law Section, says to “ask friends and friends of friends who have gone through a divorce.” He also says to stay away from promises that seem too good to be true. "If you want alimony or custody, and five lawyers tell you that you won’t get it, and one says you will, I’d go with the majority opinion,” he says.

Make Sure They Take the Time to Understand Your Needs

While some of your needs might not be possible to fulfill in a divorce, there are others that your attorney should make a priority: namely, anything involving your children. If you make it clear that your children’s needs come first, your attorney should respect that. An attorney who is also a guardian ad litem has been determined by a judge to be especially trustworthy in representing the interests of kids in legal proceedings. Looking for lawyers with this certification can help you find a better divorce attorney: one who can use their experience navigating complex custody agreements to arguing custody cases on behalf of their clients in divorce cases.

Consider a solo attorney instead of a larger firm

Lawyers are busy, and many rely on their support staff to help them with cases. Bigger firms often mean less involvement from experienced litigators in the day-to-day work on clients' cases. A solo attorney or a small law firm often means more hands-on representation and increases the likelihood that the most experienced lawyers will be working directly on your case. Look for small firms with established attorneys at the top of the masthead, and pay close attention to your earliest experiences with the firm. Are your first consultations with a junior attorney or support staff, or do you have a chance to speak with the top attorneys early on? It's rare for new or prospective clients to have a conversation directly with the principal attorney of a law firm: if you talk directly to a firm's top lawyer early on, that's a great sign that they'll be closely involved in your case.

Divorce, custody & college: how tuition expenses are split

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For many parents, part of raising a child includes saving for and covering their college tuition expenses. After a divorce, this responsibility doesn’t go away, but it does become more complicated. Which parent is responsible for covering college tuition, or if it’s divided, how is it split up?

Under Illinois Law, parents can be directed by the Illinois Courts to pay child support for educational expenses, even after the child turns 18. There are four factors the courts take into consideration when determining how to order educational expenses. They are:

  • each parent’s financial situation
  • the standard of living the child would have had if the parents did not get divorced
  • the child’s financial resources, and
  • the child's academic performance.

Things get complicated if one parent isn’t willing to pay for education, or has different views on the educational plan the child should follow. Let’s assume both you and your former spouse are invested in your child’s well-being and long-term education. If that’s the case, here’s how to go about determining how tuition expenses are split.

Find the right attorney

First, find an attorney who understands and is looking out for your child’s best interests. This will help ensure your child’s education isn’t put at risk because of a disagreement between you and your ex. A good attorney will listen to your concerns about your child’s education and make the topic a priority during the divorce. They’ll also help you go through some of these steps.

Outline Your Long-Term Educational Plans for Your Child In Writing

Laying out your plans for your child’s education can help reveal areas where you and your spouse disagree, making them easier to talk through. If you want your child to go to a four-year college, state that explicitly. If you’re open to paying for out-of-state tuition, or if you only want to fund an in-state education, write that down too. From here, you can talk through a solution that works for both parties. Of course, depending on the age of your child, their college wishes will play a factor.

Organize and Document Your Financial Situation Clearly

Having your finances clearly documented will help determine realistically how much each parent can afford. It's essential to organize your own finances in great detail before beginning divorce proceedings to make sure your individual situation is characterized appropriately in negotiations. Our Guide to Organizing Your Finances Before Divorce can help make the process easy.

 

Don’t Forget Life Insurance

Finally, make sure your divorce decree covers life insurance and disability insurance that covers the total for all of your share of college expenses. If something happens to you or your ex, you don’t want your child’s education to suffer.

In many cases, parents can come to an agreement about their child’s education expenses without going to court. If this is not the case, a judge will review each parent’s income, work history, assets, and debts. The judge will also look at your child’s education and extracurricular history and the current housing situation of both parents. Finally, he or she will make a decision on how to split education costs in a way that will be best suited for both parents and the child.

Your divorce decree should lay out who will pay for everything related to college preparation and college. This includes things like standardized course prep, test fees, admission fees, college visit costs, housing, tuition, meal expenses, and any other costs. Maybe one parent will pay tuition, while the other pays for room and board. Or one will cover books, while the other covers a meal plan. The more explicitly costs are laid out, the less likely you are to fight about it when the time comes for your child to go off to school.

So you've been served: Understanding the basics of a lawsuit

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We’ve all seen movies or TV dramas where someone opens their door to find an officer standing there ready to serve them paperwork. But what would you do if you found yourself on the other side of that door knock? Civil lawsuits usually occur after a dispute between people or businesses, and are typically used in family law cases. If you’re being sued, that means you’re the defendant. Don’t panic. Many cases settle before reaching a trial. Here are the basics of a lawsuit and what to do next if you’ve been served.

First Steps

If you’re being sued and the grounds of the suit are false, it’s up to you to prove that. You should immediately hire a lawyer to represent you and advise you on any next steps you may take. If there is some truth to the suit, it’s equally important to get legal representation to make sure your side of the story is accurately represented and help negotiate a fair resolution. Don’t make any decisions alone about whether you want to fight the lawsuit, default, or seek a settlement — there are many factors to consider, and your lawyer should help make sure you understand all of them.

Your Options

If the allegations outlined in the lawsuit are truthful, and you’re willing to meet all of the plaintiff’s terms, your attorney can contact the other party to quickly resolve the issue. If you’re being sued, you must submit a response, called an “answer,” within a defined limited period of time, according to Saving Thousands. This is a document responding to each claim made against you.

Negotiation is another possible response to a civil lawsuit. Your attorney can contact the plaintiff to negotiate a resolution. In eviction cases, for example, landlords are often willing to drop the lawsuit and court fees if you pay any outstanding rent immediately. Each type of lawsuit has a specific legal deadline, according to Civil Law Self Help Center, so if you are going to negotiate, start the process as soon as possible after being served.

Next Steps

After you submit your answer, assuming your case was not dismissed, there will be many steps to undertake as your case progresses through the legal process. Ultimately, the lawsuit will be dismissed, settled by agreement, or proceed to a trial. At your trial your attorney will state your case, and the judge will make the final call. No matter what path to resolution you pursue, it is essential that your attorney fully understands your side of the story and everything that happened in detail, so he/she can help you determine which path is right for you, and then make sure the truth of the matter is accurately portrayed in court.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore the claims. That will result in the plaintiff asking the judge for a default judgment — and if you’re not there to defend yourself and haven’t responded to the lawsuit, it’s unlikely the judge will rule in your favor. The best thing to do is speak with an experienced attorney who can talk you through your negotiation options or help you build a case for your defense.

How do you know if you’ve found an attorney who truly understands your case and will protect your interests in court? Look for a lawyer who listens. That’s why Schiffman Family Law offers a free one-hour consultation to all potential new clients to discuss the specifics of your case. Contact us to book a no-strings-attached consultation with Mike Schiffman today.

How to organize your finances before a marriage or divorce

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Divorce comes with many emotional stresses, but the financial changes can have a big impact on your life, too. Suddenly, your income changes, your division of bills changes, and your financial responsibilities change. Marriage, while in every other way the opposite of divorce, also comes with big financial changes. Suddenly you must learn to share your financial responsibilities with another person. Getting your finances organized before your marriage or divorce will help you know where you stand individually, which can help you navigate new financial waters in the future.

Step one: Get Organized

Mike Schiffman of Schiffman Family Law says that before beginning the divorce process, it’s essential to have an accurate understanding of your financial situation — your own, and your family’s. “No one knows your financial circumstances better than you,” he says. “Your divorce attorney’s job is to help you understand how your divorce will affect your financials, and figure out what path to separation is right for you.”

He recommends all of his clients organize their financial documents before a divorce by using separate files for each account. Printing out documents that track all money in both joint and separate accounts makes it easy to see what money is yours, and what is shared. Not only does this give you a clear picture of your financial situation, he says it helps make things easier during the divorce process.

“When you begin the divorce process, you and your spouse will need to exchange numerous financial details related to your bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement and credit card accounts,” Schiffman said. “If you are organized, the process of providing such documentation will be less overwhelming.”

Before a marriage, Financial Advisor Kristin O’Keeffe Merrick writes in Forbes that frank conversations are important. “If you get divorced and either one of you has debt, it could become your responsibility. So before you take the plunge, it is crucial to have an open conversation and get your financial ducks in a row.”

Merrick recommends discussing how you will organize finances together after your wedding, including budgeting and financial goals. If your own finances are organized ahead of time, it will make it easier to have realistic conversations about what you can afford and what you hope to achieve with your money. It will also make it easier to tell your partner about any debt you’re bringing to the marriage.

Step Two: Check Your Credit

Whether you’re getting married or divorced, check your credit score. Knowing your score before marriage will help you avoid any surprises when you and your spouse try to buy a home or make another investment together. If there are issues on your credit report, try to resolve them or talk to your spouse about them to keep them in the loop about the types of homes, cars, etc. you will be able to jointly afford.

If you’re getting divorced, check your credit to see if your spouse’s financial history has impacted you in any way. Now that you’re on your own, it will be important to have a strong independent line of credit for future loans or rental agreements. Look over any joint credit card statements and see where your money is being spent, making note of who’s responsible for each major expenditure, and identifying patterns in your own spending and your partner’s. If your spouse spends excessively, take your name off the account to start building your own credit before the divorce goes through.

Step Three: Set Up New Accounts

After divorce, you’ll have to set up individual bank accounts and credit cards, so why not start early? Establishing your own accounts in advance lets you move your money so that you can track your spending and begin building credit.

For those getting married, it’s not a bad idea to keep your accounts separate. In fact, more and more millennials are doing it, according to The Atlantic.

Step Four: Taxes

This one only applies to those going through divorce: Your tax status will change from joint to individual, and your income will change, too. These are big shifts that could result in paying or receiving spousal support or capital gains taxes and other investment taxes. Forbes recommends working with a certified divorce financial planner who can help you understand how taxes will impact your divorce settlement, and how to best negotiate to save you money.

Organizing your finances can seem like a daunting task, but it will save you time, energy, and maybe even money in the long run. It’s great to start taking inventory of your assets on your own, but the earlier you partner with an experienced divorce attorney, the more help you’ll have navigating these complex waters. At Schiffman Family Law, we have more than 30 years’ experience helping people understand and take control of their finances during divorce. Contact our office today for a free one-hour consultation.

 

Understanding Illinois Custody Law: Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time

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A 2016 update to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act has changed the way courts and judges divide parenting rights and responsibilities. Know the facts before you begin your divorce process.

For married couples with children planning a divorce, and for unmarried parents, the determination of when and how you will divide parenting rights and responsibilities is typically the most important and emotionally-charged part of the legal process. The custody laws in your state will set the parameters for your custody arrangement, but many factors unique to your circumstances and your relationship will ultimately determine the outcome in your case. A thorough understanding of how the custody decision process works will help you navigate the process as smoothly as possible. Read on to learn how judges and the court system in Illinois determines the division of parenting rights.

Illinois Custody Law

In some states, the law distinguishes between custody in terms of “sole” or “joint” custody — whether one or both parents will be assigned total or shared parenting duties, including decision-making power — and between “physical” and “legal” custody — where physical custody determines which parent the children will primarily live with, and legal custody defines which parent is empowered to make legal decisions for the child.

Illinois custody law does not consider these distinctions independently. If a judge determines that two parents will share custody of their child or children, then those specifics regarding divisions of legal decision-making power and the distribution of shared and separate parenting time are ironed out on a case-by-case basis considering a variety of factors – all founded upon the best interests of the child.

Key Terms: Allocation of Parenting Time

It’s important that parents understand key terms in family law that relate to divorce and marriage dissolution, including some that are unique to Illinois. First, know that two terms commonly referenced in divorce proceedings — “custody” and “visitation” — are no longer the correct legal terms applied in Illinois family law. Since the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act took effect in January 2016, these terms have been replaced by “assignment of parental responsibilities” in lieu of custody, and “parenting time” in lieu of visitation.

Assignment of Parental Responsibilities

“Assignment of parental responsibilities” refers to how decision-making authority over a child’s life, including major decisions like schooling, religion and medical care. Similar to the concept of legal custody, the assignment of parental responsibilities in Illinois evaluates how parents will share these decision-making powers by considering each subject individually, and assigning authority over each based on the family’s unique circumstances. This can result in a wide variety of possible combinations: For example, a judge may decide that the mother will be empowered to make decisions regarding the healthcare of the child or children, but that the father has authority over the child or children’s education and extracurricular activities. A judge can also decide that, in some areas, both parents are responsible for making these decisions together.

Factors considered by Illinois courts to determine the division of parenting time according to the best interests of the child can include, but are not limited to:

  • The wishes of the child, taking into consideration the child’s maturity and ability to express reasoned and independent preferences as to decision making;

  • The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;

  • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, including the child and both parents;

  • The ability of the parents to cooperate with decision-making for the child, or whether the level of conflict between the parents might affect their ability to share decision-making responsibilities;

  • How much each parent participated in past decision-making responsibilities for the child;

  • Any prior agreement or course of conduct between the parents relating to the decision making for the child;

  • The wishes of the parents;

  • The child’s needs;

  • The distance between the parents’ homes, the cost and difficulty of transporting the child, the daily schedules of each parent and child, and the ability of both parents to cooperate in the parenting time arrangement;

  • Whether a restriction on decision-making is appropriate under Section 603.10 (whether one parent acted in a way that seriously endangered the child’s physical, moral, mental health or emotional development);

  • The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child;

  • Any other factor that the court finds relevant.

750 ILCS 5/602.5(c)

Parenting Time

Since Illinois family law considers the division of parenting rights and responsibilities in a more holistic way, the state has also migrated away from referring to the division of parenting time in terms of “residential custody” and “visitation.” Instead, the court approaches how parents will share child care as the division of “parenting time.”

Unlike custody determinations which can be as black-and- white as “sole” or “joint,” parenting time allows for diverse combinations of parenting time schedules that take each parent’s circumstances into consideration to find a combination that serves the best interests of the child. Current Illinois law states that if one parent has not been granted significant decision-making power under the assignment of “parental responsibilities,” that parent will be entitled to a reasonable parenting time schedule with the child.

Determining how parents will restructure their roles and responsibilities in the lives of their children is the most complex and important negotiation in any separation. An experienced attorney is essential to ensure your circumstances and your fitness as a parent are accurately represented and secure a fair outcome in the division of parenting duties. Mike Schiffman and the team at Schiffman Family Law has more than 35 years of experience representing parents in divorce and custody cases. Read what his clients and other attorneys have said about his expertise in family law, and contact his office today for a free, confidential consultation.

Pre-nups v. Post-nups

Prenuptial and Postnuptial agreements serve similar functions, but have some key differences. We help you understand each and determine which is right for your situation.

You’ve heard of prenups and postnups, and probably know that one comes before the wedding, and the other comes after. What’s tricker is knowing how else they differ, and which is right for you. According to Investopedia, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that both types of agreements have increased in recent years. Between 2009 and 2011, 63% of responding attorneys reported an increase in prenups, and 51% saw an increase in postnups. You should never rush into a legal agreement, especially not one that involves your finances and your marriage. Here’s what you need to know about both prenuptial and postnupial agreements.

Prenuptial Agreement Basics

A prenuptial agreement is an agreement made between future spouses before their wedding day. It outlines how they will handle finances, debts, assets and other money-related issues during the marriage, as well as what will happen to those finances should they get divorced. In some cases, it also includes personal clauses in addition to financial details: some couples lay out what will happen if one spouse cheats, set ground rules for gaining weight, specify who will take care of pets, and so on. The terms of the prenuptial agreement go into effect once the couple is married.

While prenups are often set up to provide protection in the event of divorce, they can also be useful after one spouse’s death. If one spouse has a large estate or children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement can detail how much of their estate goes to their spouse, and how much goes to their children.

Though they’re set up ahead of time, prenups can protect income earned during the marriage, and can also help eliminate alimony payments. Neither prenups nor postnups cover what happens to children; that is always left to courts in the case of divorce.

Postnuptial Agreement Basics

A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a prenuptial agreement. The main difference is that it is drawn up after a couple is married. Couples skip arranging prenuptial agreements for many reasons: sometimes, in the run-up to a wedding, couples get so busy they don’t have time to arrange an agreement, or they may feel the conversation will ruin the romance of their wedding day, so they handle it after they say “I do.”

As with a prenup, spouses specify in a postnuptial agreement what will happen to property and finances in the case of a divorce. They help determine what is joint property, and what is separate. An arranged postnup is useful in divorce cases because it saves money and the emotional stress of going through divorce litigation.

Postnuptial agreements are usually used if both spouses wanted a prenup, but didn’t have time to execute one before the marriage; if they are thinking about divorce and want to determine how property would be divided, saving time and sanity later on in the divorce process; if, after the wedding, a couple realizes they have different ideas of how to handle money; or if one spouse acquires a new asset or debt and wants it to be kept as separate property. The last case is common if one spouse receives a large inheritance, decides to go back to school, or opens a business.

Who Needs A Prenup or Postnup?

It used to be that young couples with few assets had little need for these types of agreements; then in January 2016, changes to Illinois law made them more important for everyone.

Previously, when couples received marriage gifts or bought items for their new home, even if they weren’t married yet, those gifts and items were considered “purchased in contemplation of marriage,” and were joint property. Whether it was a house or a doormat, the assets were divided fairly during divorce. Under the new law, gifts, assets, and debts acquired before marriage are non-marital property. The law reads:

For purposes of this Act, "marital property means all property, including debts and other obligations, acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage . . . .
. . .
Property acquired prior to a marriage that would otherwise be non-marital property shall not be deemed to be marital property solely because the property was acquired in contemplation of the marriage.

Prenups are important now to determine whether property acquired before the marriage is marital or independent property.

Both types of agreements are also useful when it comes to debt. Young couples today often have large student loans, and when they marry, that debt is joint—even though it’s technically non-marital. However, if they have a pre- or postnup, the estate can be paid back for money paid against non-marital debt. The agreement can specify the exact amount that must be paid back.

They are also useful in the case of second marriages to set aside wealth for existing children, or to simply give spouses peace of mind. Divorce can be costly and unpleasant. After going through it once, many people don’t want to enter into a second marriage without a guarantee that, should things change in the relationship, their financial interests will still be protected.

“Prenuptial agreements, on the other hand, provide such people with the opportunity to ensure predictability, plan their future with more security, and, most importantly, decide their own destiny,” reads Supreme Court of Alaska case Brooks v. Brooks, discussing the issue.

Which is Right for You?

If you know ahead of your marriage that you would like to protect your assets and guarantee certain outcomes in the event of divorce, a prenuptial agreement is right for you. If you’re married, and you and your spouse handle money differently; if one of you wants to take a financial risk like investing or starting a business, or one of you inherits a large amount of wealth, then a postnuptial agreement is a better option.

Either way, remember that these are legal agreements that cannot be simply reworked if one partner changes their mind. It is important to think about what you want the document to detail and understand it fully before signing. Each spouse should have an independent lawyer examine the agreement to make sure both parties’ rights are represented. Remember that discussing finances in the case of divorce is a touchy issue, and these types of legal agreements should be approached with caution and consideration.

An experienced and compassionate attorney is a vital resource in navigating these agreements amicably. Mike Schiffman has decades of experience navigating all aspects of marital asset litigation. Contact Schiffman Family Law today to learn more about how our firm can help you.

Pet Custody Law in Illinois

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Starting in 2018, pets in Illinois are treated more like family, and less like property in divorce cases.

A new Illinois law that treats pets more like family took effect in January 2018, giving judges more leeway in determining pet custody on a case-by-case basis. Judges can now consider the well-being of pets during divorce proceedings, and allocate sole or joint ownership depending on the case.

As more couples have children later, or not at all, pets become a bigger part of the family. When both spouses are attached to a pet, it can be heart-wrenching to lose ownership during divorce. The new Illinois law gives more leeway in deciding the pet’s future, rather than choosing one owner over the other. Like with children, pet owners can now have joint custody, or ownership, over the pet. This can be healthier for both the people and the animal.  

As more couples have children later, or not at all, pets become a bigger part of the family.

“Most pet owners know that their animals are more than a piece of property — they’re a member of their family,” said Mike Schiffman, a family attorney at Schiffman Family Law. “The new law in Illinois will better reflect that reality.”

How the Law Works

The law was sponsored by state Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) who said she wanted pets to be treated more like family. She told the Chicago Tribune that pets have feelings and emotions. “If you’re going before a judge, they’re allowed to take the best interest of the animal into consideration,” she said.

Under the new law, each spouse will need to detail why they would be the best suited party to keep the pet.

“Who does the day-to-day stuff? Who buys the pet food? Who stays on top of vaccinations?” Erika Wyatt, a divorce attorney and animal rights advocate said to WQAD. “Anything that happens in the normal care for the pet is going to become relevant now.”

After hearing both sides, the judge chooses one party for sole ownership or can grant joint custody. The law does not apply to service animals.

What’s Changed?

Before 2018, pets were treated like property and divided between divorcing couples as part of the value of the estate. In most cases, pet custody is determined outside of court. A study from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that one-third of their lawyers said couples were more likely to settle pet ownership disputes outside of court. 

One-third of their lawyers said couples were more likely to settle pet ownership disputes outside of court.

Though pet custody court cases have gone down in recent years, the new law makes existing and future cases simpler. Alaska was the first state to change its pet custody divorce laws, and Illinois followed its example to give judges more say.

If you’re going through a divorce and wondering how to best represent yourself to gain sole or joint custody of your pet, work with an experienced Illinois attorney to ensure the judge has all information available and can make the best decision for both you and Fido. The team at Schiffman Family Law is well-versed in Illinois pet custody law, and understands the importance of these decisions. Contact the Chicago area’s number one pet-friendly law firm today for a free 1-hour consultation.







 

5 Signs You're Ready for Divorce

Filing for divorce is a life-changing decision, especially if you have children, so it’s essential to consider all relevant factors and make sure you’re confident in your choice. Divorce affects your lifestyle, your children’s lives, and your finances, and the decision involves both practical and emotional considerations. Couples who have decided divorce was right for them say these five signs helped them make up their minds. If these signs are present in your relationship, divorce may be the right decision.