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Family Law Frequently Asked Questions

Published on September 8th, 2022

If you want to file for divorce, you may want to speak to a Bloomington family lawyer from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols. A divorce can involve many complexities, and you want someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about family law.

How Is Property Divided in a Divorce?

Since Illinois is an equitable division state, marital property isn’t divided up evenly during a divorce. It’s divided up fairly. A judge will consider multiple factors before determining how to divide up assets, such as each party’s contribution to the asset, the length of the marriage, and each party’s financial situation.

How Does a Judge Decide Who to Give Child Custody to?

If you and your spouse can’t agree on a custody arrangement, the court will make the decision. A judge will base the decision on the best interests of the child. He or she may consider several factors, such as the mental and physical health of both parents, each parent’s living situation, the wishes of the child, and whether either parent has a history of abuse.

How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced?

Most people want to get their divorce over with as quickly as possible. However, the length of proceedings will depend on how well you and your spouse agree on major issues in your divorce. If you and your spouse are having difficulties coming to an agreement, your divorce will take longer.

Do I Have to Hire a Lawyer?

The law does not require you to hire a Bloomington family lawyer. However, it’s highly recommended. A skilled lawyer can help you file the paperwork in a timely manner, improve your chances of receiving a fair settlement and prevent you from making costly mistakes.

What’s the Difference Between Legal and Physical Custody?

Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions about your child’s education, medical care, religion, and other matters. Physical custody, on the other hand, is the time each parent spends with the child.

How Does a Divorce Differ from an Annulment? 

A divorce officially ends a marriage while an annulment is the legal cancellation of a marriage. To get granted an annulment, you must prove that the marriage was never valid to begin with. For example, if one party was underage at the time of the marriage, it may be avoidable. 

If you are planning to get a divorce, schedule a consultation with a Bloomington family lawyer.

What types of adoption are available?

Families can adopt children in various ways through a state child welfare agency, international adoption, kinship adoption, and private adoption. Typically there are three types of adoptions available:

  1. Open Adoption- ongoing contact
  2. Closed Adoption- no contact
  3. Semi-Open Adoption- limited contact

What is a home study, and will it be required?

Yes, a home study is a requirement for all adoptions, whether private, international or through the child welfare system. The home study provides an overview of your life and is used to assess whether your family is a safe and appropriate environment for a child. The home study can be lengthy as it involves a thorough review of your background, such as your finances, personal relationships, criminal background, and more. Typically you will be required to gather critical documents, engage in-home visits with a social worker, and participate in interviews. 

Is a birth parent able to revoke consent?

A Bloomberg family lawyer shares that it may be possible for a birth parent to revoke consent; however, in Illinois, it becomes irrevocable once the consent is signed. 

What is the role of a lawyer during adoption?

An adoption lawyer can play different roles depending upon their client’s needs. At times the lawyer may liaise with the adoption agency and help manage complex legal issues as they arise. A couple may choose to use an experienced adoption lawyer to manage much of the process in other situations. Regardless of this, it’s usually in your best interest to work with an adoption agency as well. However, when a family has already identified a birth mother, you may be able to complete the process with just a lawyer’s services. 

How long does the process of adoption take?

Adoption can be a long and drawn-out process before families can officially adopt a child. Generally, timeframes will vary depending upon the specific circumstances surrounding the case, such as the type of adoption and the child’s age. For example, some children may be available for adoption in a matter of months, while adopting a baby could take years. 

Adopting a child is a great responsibility that couples shouldn’t take lightly. While the process can be complicated, Pioletti, Pioletti, & Nichols can help by providing guidance, support, and legal experience. For assistance, you can rely on contact our Bloomington family lawyer.   

What can a lawyer do for me?

A family lawyer provides many legal services and can assist you with a number of topics, from advice on child custody, to guidance on dealing with divorce, and tips for effective conflict resolution. Divorce or separation can be challenging to navigate, and with emotions running high, it can be hard to make the best decisions. A lawyer can act as a trusted third party to give you the guidance you need and make sure your rights are protected. 

How do I reduce conflicts with my ex?

When you are constantly fighting with your ex for the most superficial reasons, finding a solution that works for you both can seem impossible. Fights and arguments can be triggered over the smallest differences. However, there are ways to minimize their occurrence. A lawyer may recommend advice such as working on communication strategies, evaluating your reaction, controlling your emotions, and focusing on the goals you are striving to achieve, whether it’s making decisions that serve your child’s best interest or finalizing a divorce without needless complications. 

How do I create a fair parenting plan? 

A skilled and experienced Bloomington family lawyer knows that creating a parenting plan that you and your ex can agree on is crucial for maintaining a positive and healthy family environment. You and your ex may have your differences and may not agree on many topics, but you have to make an effort to effectively communicate and solve problems for the sake of your child. To create a parenting plan, you and your ex should discuss what you want to include and how you are going to make decisions. Identify your goals and how you are going to achieve them. For assistance, you can discuss with a lawyer about what should be included in a parenting plan. 

What if I don’t agree with the child custody arrangement?

Once a child custody arrangement has been ordered and it includes terms you do not agree with, you can request to have it changed. You must complete the requirements in order to request the change to your child custody agreement and/or visitation order. You must fill out the required forms, attend a hearing or mediation, and complete the other necessary steps to modify your custody arrangement. 

What is considered to be family law?

Family law is a broad term that refers to every type of claim which may fall under Illinois laws and be heard by the Family Court. Some examples include:

  • Divorce and legal separation
  • Annulments
  • Paternity
  • Adoption
  • Child support
  • Child custody
  • Alimony and spousal support
  • Fiduciary duties
  • Rights and obligations during marriage
  • Domestic partnerships
  • Division of property
  • and more

My case is complicated; can a family lawyer Bloomington IL offers still help?

Family law matters are not usually straightforward and often comprise of complex litigation, high value asset distribution, and issues involving resolution, taxation, concealment of assets, child well being, and so on and so forth. A family lawyer Bloomington IL trusts may expect these complicated matters and work to effectively resolve them.

How long will my case take?

The length of time it takes may take to resolve a family law matter may be dependent upon the unique circumstances as well as how well the parties cooperate together. Thus, it’s impossible to give an estimated time without knowing your personal details. Please call Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols to address this question during a free consultation.

Do I need a family lawyer in Bloomington IL?

Technically you might be able to manage your way through the legal system, but if you answer ‘yes’ to the following, you will probably benefit from a family lawyer:

  • Are there children involved?
  • Is there a significant amount of assets involved?
  • Are you unsure of what you may be entitled to?
  • Has your spouse or partner retained a lawyer?
  • Is violence or abuse an issue?
  • Do you feel there will be a disagreement over the children, property, or assets?
  • Is your partner trying to move far away with your children?
  • Is your partner likely to want to move interstate, overseas or far away with your children?

Family law is highly complex and can have direct implications on the life of yours’ and your family. It is advisable to have an experienced, trustworthy lawyer working hard for your rights. You can also receive counsel on important issues while alleviating any stress you’re experiencing at the time.

Is an adoption lawyer necessary?

A knowledgeable Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols family lawyer Bloomington IL families have turned to for legal guidance for years may provide a number of important services that could increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. Our family law attorneys are intimately familiar with all applicable state, federal, national, and international adoption laws. Their skill and experience can help eliminate or minimize potential problems when going through the adoption process. We can help with the following:

  • Step-parent adoptions
  • Same sex couples who wish to adopt a child
  • Preparation for adoption hearings
  • Legal representation in court hearings
  • Legal representation if complications develop during the adoption process

What is involved in the adoption process?

The length of time to complete the adoption process varies based on the complexity of the case. An adoption can take as long as five years, but a family lawyer Bloomington IL parents choose from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols would make every effort to hasten the process as much as possible.

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