We should perhaps begin with an explanation of what I mean by “Family Law.” Family law in Illinois is generally defined as that which deals with Chapter 750 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, which includes, among other provisions, the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, the Non-Support Punishment Act, the Interstate Family Support Act, the Emancipation of Minors Act, the Parentage Act, the Gestational Surrogacy Act, the Adoption Act, and the Civil Union Act. As a practical matter, this includes the following types of proceedings:
-Divorce Proceedings, where two people who have been married to one another seek to dissolve their marriage, divide up the marital property, and determine how to handle child support, Parenting Time (which used to be called visitation), and Parental Responsibility (which used to be called custody).
-Paternity Cases, where a child has been born out of wedlock, and the parties determine who the father is, as well as how to handle child support, Parenting Time (which used to be called visitation), and Parental Responsibility (which used to be called custody).
-Adoption Cases, where someone who is not a parent seeks to adopt a child;
-Dissolution of Civil Unions, where two people who are joined in a civil union (which provides them with rights similar, but not identical, to that of a marriage) choose to part ways.
The manner which I approach Family Law cases is on a highly individualized case-by-case basis. I spend enough time speaking with the client to determine both what they want and what they need, then determine the appropriate strategy to meet those objectives.