Legal separation is similar to the dissolution process with some exceptions. For example, the parties remain married once the judgment for legal separation is entered by the court. The circumstances of each particular case dictate whether legal separation is the preferred option compared to dissolution.
A dissolution of a civil union is handled in many respects like a dissolution of marriage. The filing of a petition for dissolution of a civil union will open the door to many issues including but not to limited the determination of custody and visitation (referred to in Illinois as “parental responsibilities”), child support, maintenance (also known as “alimony” or “spousal support”), property division, allocation of debt, and payment of attorney’s fees. Often times, issues such as financial support must be addressed on a temporary basis prior to a final resolution. Clark & Steiner can assist you with the process of dissolving your civil union.
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act and Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (“UCCJEA”) has been adopted by Illinois and governs how states address custody determinations made by other states. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (“UIFSA”) has been adopted by Illinois and governs how states address child support determinations made by other states. In accordance with UCCJEA and UIFSA, there are specific rules in place governing a state’s ability to establish a custody/child support order, modify a custody/child support order or enforce a custody/child support order. The UCCJEA or UIFSA may apply in your circumstances if your initial custody/child support order was entered in Illinois or modified in Illinois and the children are relocated outside of Illinois, or if your initial custody/child support order was entered in a different state or modified in a different state and the children are relocated to Illinois. Clark & Steiner’s attorneys have significant experience addressing issues involving the UCCJEA and/or UIFSA.
International Matrimonial and Family Law Issues
Due to the ease of travel and global economies, it has become increasingly common for families to relocate internationally. In the event of a divorce, post-divorce or child-related disputes involving international families, questions arise such as law applies and where proceeding should take place. Clark & Steiner’s attorneys have successfully litigated and advised clients regarding their cases which involve international components, including circumstances in which the Hague Convention does or does not apply.
Illinois Domestic Violence Act
Illinois enacted the Illinois Domestic Violence Act as a means to protect individuals who are subject to domestic violence. To initiate proceedings under the Act, an individual must file a verified petition for an order of protection on the individual’s behalf or on behalf of other protected individuals. The petition may be heard on an ex parte or emergency basis. Clark & Steiner’s attorneys have successfully obtained and defended matters involving ex parte, emergency and plenary orders of protection pursuant to the Illinois Domestic Violence Act.
At times, a party to a matrimonial or family law action decides to challenge the trial court’s order or judgment by filing an appeal with one of the districts of the Illinois Appellate Court or the Illinois Supreme Court, when applicable. There is a specific set of rules that govern the appellate process and Clark & Steiner has significant experience in the appellate courts. Clark & Steiner’s attorneys have successfully prosecuted and defended appeals of trial court rulings.
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