Areas of Practice
The term "family law" is a relatively broad practice area that includes a wide variety of legal matters between people with familial relationships, such as divorce, legal separation, child support, child custody, adoption, paternity, foster care, and emancipation. Our attorneys at Statham & Long, LLC, are ready to assist you with all of your family law needs.
For additional information on the many facets of Family Law, please see below.
Adoption is a complex process that involves voluntarily adopting a child, born of other parents, as one's own child through compliance with formal legal procedures. The process itself may differ according to the type of adoption, relationships of the parties involved, and other factors, and may include foster care issues.
In certain, rare circumstances, a party may be able to seek an annulment rather than a divorce. If a marriage is annulled, it’s as if the marriage never occurred. Examples of grounds for an annulment include fraudulent inducement, incapacity, and duress.
The commonly known terms “custody” and “visitation” have been replaced by the phrase “parental responsibilities.” Parental responsibilities include significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time. Our attorneys will assist you in developing a comprehensive parenting plan including each component. We will work with you to obtain a result that is in the best interest of both you and your child.
In July 2017 the child support laws in Illinois were completely overhauled. Both parents’ incomes are now utilized to determine the proper amount of child support. In some cases, the amount of parenting time allocated between the parties also affects child support. Childcare, extracurricular activities, education, and healthcare expenses, as well as the child dependency exemption for income tax purposes, may be shared between the parents. We will assist you in taking into account the numerous financial considerations relating to child support, and work diligently to maximize the amount of money in your pocket.
Beginning in 2018, Illinois law both authorizes and facilitates collaborative divorce. “Collaborative divorce” is an alternative dispute resolution option that keeps costs down and equitably ends a marriage without destroying the family in the process. During the process, spouses and their attorneys work together cooperatively to negotiate equitable settlements without going to court. The focus is on constructive problem-solving and shared values rather than on adversarial bargaining and court-imposed solutions.
Divorce proceedings involve numerous issues, including ascertaining and dividing marital and non-marital assets and debts, maintenance (also known as alimony or spousal support), child support, and child custody. We understand that going through a divorce is difficult on everyone: you, your spouse, your respective families, and especially your children. With that in mind, we take an individualized approach to all of our divorce cases. We carefully navigate our clients through the process, explaining legal rights and obligations in a way the individual client can understand and process. We will also address and guide you on other important matters that may be implicated by your divorce, such as income taxes, medical insurance, bankruptcy, and estate planning.
Guardianship may be an option for a child who is without a parent who is willing or able to care for him or her. Sometimes a parent becomes incapacitated with a mental or physical illness or struggles with an addiction that affects his or her ability to care for his or her children. To ensure the safety and well-being of the child’s person and estate in such cases, a guardian may be appointed by the court. A guardian then becomes responsible for the child’s healthcare, education, and finances.
Legal Separations are different than divorces and are fairly uncommon. A legal separation may be appropriate if you have unique circumstances where you and/or your spouse benefit by remaining legally married, but you otherwise become physically and financially separated from one another. Such unique circumstances may be related to religion, taxes, retirement benefits, or medical insurance.
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution option where the parties are assisted by a neutral party to reach agreements on their legal issues. In Illinois, parents are generally required to mediate their child custody disputes before the Court can decide the issues. However, mediation is also a great option for divorcing couples without children. H. Wayne Statham is a certified mediator for the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Illinois.
Orders of Protection; Civil No Contact Orders
An Order of Protection is an option for a victim of domestic violence. “Domestic” means that the parties have a familial relationship, such as having a child in common or being in a romantic relationship. Domestic violence includes physical acts, but it also includes other types of abuse such as harassment or emotional abuse. If there is no familial relationship but there has been physical abuse, sexual abuse, harassment, or stalking, a Civil No Contact Order may be an option. Statham & Long, LLC, is committed to justice: we represent victims of abuse, and we represent those who have been falsely accused of abuse.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements help couples make important decisions about their relationships, particularly relating to their finances, in the event of divorce or other issues. Prenuptial agreements are drafted prior to the marriage, while postnuptial agreements are drafted during the marriage. Such agreements can protect separate property, support estate planning, and establish procedures and ground rules for deciding future matters.
For further information regarding Family Law, or any other matter, please call us today.