For many, the divorce process is the most stressful event they will ever go through. Divorcing parties normally just want to move on with their lives. The last thing either spouse wants is for the process to drag on. Thankfully, unlike other states, Illinois does not impose a “cooling off” period on those seeking a divorce. However, Illinois imposes strict residency requirements that you must fulfill before filing. Generally, at least one of the parties must have lived in the state for at least 90 days. In the event the parties have minor children, the residency requirement becomes 180 days. In addition to residency requirements, the type of divorce being sought determines the timeline for a divorce in Illinois. Facing divorce in Illinois? You’re in the right place. Call 24/7 for a free consultation: (773) 938-4747 What Is the Fastest Way to Get Divorced in Illinois? If you and your spouse are not dependent on one other, have no children, own few assets, make a modest income, have been married for less than eight years, and agree on every aspect of the property division, you may qualify for an expedited divorce. Joint simplified divorces are the fastest and cheapest way to obtain a divorce in Illinois. Because the parties complete and file the paperwork together, there is no waiting on service of process. Moreover, joint simplified divorces typically require only a single hearing before a judge. The main holdup for these types of divorces is the court date. Court dockets are full. Expect the hearing to be no earlier than a month or two after filing. What About Uncontested Divorces? Uncontested divorces are for parties who agree on matters of property division, child custody, and child support but for whatever reason don’t qualify for a joint simplified divorce. In this scenario, the timeline is longer because the petitioner must effectuate service of process, which could take weeks. After receiving the petition, the other party has up to 30 days to file a response. How Long Do Contested Divorces Take? Contested divorces are the most time-consuming of divorces. The timeline for contested divorces includes service of process and 30 days for the spouse to file a response. Once in court, the judge will likely order mediation between the parties to settle disputes. Expect to wait at least a month for mediation. If mediation fails, the court will schedule a trial. Expect to wait around six months for this. Finally, after trial, expect to wait 60–90 days for the court’s final divorce decree. Work with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer The extent to which each party is willing to work with the other generally determines the timeline for a divorce in Illinois. The greater the conflict, the longer the divorce process. If you are filing for divorce and are unsure of the best way to proceed, contact Vantage Group Legal Services for a free consultation. Our mission is to bring together the very best legal professionals to serve our clients at a truly affordable price. We can evaluate your legal options and help you determine your best course of action.Keep Reading
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Nobody goes into a real estate transaction expecting that their interest in the property will be foreclosed on. Unfortunately, however, this happens more often than you might think.
Being a defendant in a foreclosure action is nothing to be ashamed of. We know that this is something many people face, especially during these ever-changing and uncertain times. Don’t give up hope—you don’t have to handle this alone.
If you are facing a foreclosure action, the professionals at Vantage Group Legal Services can connect you with an experienced Chicago foreclosure defense attorney for one monthly fee. We will help you understand your options, fight for your rights, and avoid foreclosure where possible.
In some cases, you might be able to avoid foreclosure through a loan modification.
A mortgage loan modification is a loss mitigation technique that can help you prevent a foreclosure from occurring.
If you are or have been experiencing difficulties keeping up with your monthly mortgage payments, you may be able to negotiate a change to the original terms of your mortgage promissory note. This might look like a reduction in your monthly payments but an increase to the total length of your loan term. While you may end up making payments for a longer period of time, ultimately, this can still be a great alternative to losing your home entirely in a foreclosure action.
A skilled foreclosure attorney can help you gather the information you will need to request a loan modification and negotiate terms that are favorable to you.
Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure
If you miss scheduled payments on your mortgage, your lender may consider foreclosing on your interest in the property. When this happens, everything can feel uncertain. Fortunately, however, there are options available that may allow you to avoid a foreclosure action.
A deed in lieu of foreclosure is one such option.
A deed in lieu is an agreement in which you turn over the deed to the property in exchange for the lender releasing you of your mortgage responsibilities. While you will no longer have any ownership interest in the property, the benefit is that you can avoid a foreclosure and many of the negative effects that come along with it.
Financial hardships can arise in many different scenarios, often when we least expect it.
When you are faced with more debt than you can handle, it can feel tempting to want to give up. Fortunately, however, filing for bankruptcy can provide a way out.
The word “bankruptcy” has a lot of negative connotations associated with it. But depending on your specific scenario, bankruptcy can actually be the right option.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you are not alone. In fact, in 2019, there were nearly 800,000 total bankruptcy filings.
Bankruptcy is designed to get rid of debt and give debtors a fresh start. While the process is not easy, a skilled bankruptcy attorney can help you understand your options and guide you through the process.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a process by which debtors are provided the opportunity to get rid of most of their existing debts and start over with a “clean slate.” It is also referred to as “liquidation” or “straight bankruptcy.”
Of course, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy also has its downsides. In the course of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor must sell their assets and give up their property. Additionally, filing for bankruptcy will have an adverse impact on your credit.
In the long run, however, the benefits may still outweigh the drawbacks, freeing you from your debts and allowing you to have a fresh start.
Another type of bankruptcy is Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is also referred to as “reorganization” bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy differs from Chapter 7 bankruptcy in a few key respects. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debtors sell their assets to credits to get rid of their debts in one fell swoop. Those who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, instead set up repayment plans to use their income to gradually pay off their debts.
It is important to note, however, that not all people qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. And even if you do qualify, there are many steps that you will need to take to complete the process.
Contact a qualified bankruptcy attorney today to discuss your case and see if Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you.
This is a complicated area of the law that often involves some of the most difficult issues. Family law includes divorce and separation, custody arrangements, spousal and child support, modification or enforcement of court orders, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Emotions run high in family law matters, and these legal issues can lead to life-altering changes for all parties involved.
Because of the high stakes involved in family law matters, it is crucial to have an experienced family law attorney in your corner.
Divorce occurs when a marriage is legally terminated.
Going through a divorce can be a traumatic experience. And to make matters worse, a divorce can be a complex legal process.
Issues that are considered during a divorce include property distribution, child custody and support arrangements, and in some cases, spousal support. All of these topics must be addressed to finalize the divorce.
If you and your spouse have agreed to the issues that need to be addressed in your divorce, you may be able to file an uncontested divorce. This is typically a more cost-effective option, but it is not possible in all scenarios. When spouses cannot agree on key issues, a contested divorce is likely the only option.
Regardless of whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, the fact remains that a divorce is often emotional and messy. Vantage Group Legal Services can help connect you with qualified legal professionals and divorce attorneys to help you get through this difficult time.
Sometimes referred to as alimony, spousal support is typically an issue that is hotly contested during a divorce.
Spousal support is ordered when one spouse will need financial support from the other following the divorce. The spouse seeking support must demonstrate a need for the support, and the other spouse must have the means to pay the support.
The judge in your divorce case will determine spousal support. Additionally, it is important to note that a judge has broad discretion to award spousal support.
In determining whether spousal support is appropriate and what should be awarded, the court will consider factors such as:
- The standard of living during the marriage;
- The length of the marriage;
- Each spouse’s individual income;
- Property owned by each individual spouse;
- The future earning capacity of each individual spouse; and
- The specific needs of each spouse.
Spousal support can be an important part of a divorce. Thus, it’s important to have someone in your corner who understands the law and who will fight for your interests.
Fighting for the custody of your child can be expensive and emotionally draining.
There are two aspects of custody to consider in Illinois: legal and physical custody.
Legal custody determines which parent makes important decisions on the child’s behalf. This includes which school he or she will attend, what religion will be supported in the home, and medical decisions. If parents have joint legal custody, they will make these decisions jointly.
Physical custody, on the other hand, determines who the child will primarily live with. If one parent has sole physical custody, the other parent will typically have regular visitation rights. Parents may also share joint physical custody.
When judges are faced with a child custody case, the court will seek to accommodate the best interest of the child. Several factors are considered in making this evaluation. An experienced child custody lawyer can help you navigate your child custody case.
Divorce is a complicated process as it is. When one or both spouses are military members, it can become even more difficult.
As a general rule, parties must reside in Illinois for 90 days to meet the residency requirements to file for a divorce in the state. This also applies to active-duty military members who are stationed in Illinois for 90 days or more.
If your spouse is an active-duty member when you file for divorce, the divorce papers must be served on your spouse in person. If your divorce is uncontested, the spouse can waive the affidavit and forego receiving the papers in person.
Federal law protects members of the military from being divorced without knowing the action was filed. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act allows a military divorce in Illinois to be postponed if the spouse is on active duty. The active-duty spouse can waive these protections if he or she wants the divorce to move forward.
While a military divorce can be complicated, an attorney can help you understand the process and ensure that your divorce goes as smoothly as possible.
If you have ever suffered a personal injury due to the actions of someone else, you may have a legal claim for recovery.
A personal injury claim allows you to seek monetary compensation from a party who was at fault in causing your injuries. This is often a great way for accident victims to get the compensation they need to recover in the aftermath of an accident.
Examples of damages for which you can recover compensation in a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Property damage repair and replacement;
- Loss of income and earning capacity due to your injuries;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of companionship; and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries at the hands of another, contact a personal injury attorney today to discuss your case and see what you can do to begin your process toward recovery.
A car accident can turn your world upside down.
In the aftermath of a car accident, victims are often faced with personal injuries, property damage, financial hardships, and emotional trauma. So what can you do after a car accident to address these complicated issues?
A personal injury lawsuit can provide you with a way to get the compensation you need and deserve after your car accident. Though it can feel stressful to take this on, you don’t have to handle this on your own.
If you have sustained injuries in a car accident, a personal injury attorney can help you fight for your rights and work toward recovery. At Vantage Group Legal Services, we can connect you with an experienced car accident attorney to get you the best legal representation for your case.
Truck accidents are some of the most devastating personal injury accidents that can occur.
The size and weight of commercial trucks coupled with the speed at which they travel can lead to severe consequences in the aftermath of an accident. For this reason, extensive regulations exist to better protect both truck drivers and other drivers on the road.
Unfortunately, however, truck drivers don’t always follow these regulations.
Some of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents include:
- Improper cargo loading,
- Poor truck maintenance,
- Poor training,
- Driver fatigue, and
If you sustain injuries in a truck accident due to any of the above, you may have a legal claim against the truck driver, the trucking company, or both.
An attorney can help you assess your potential claims and determine your best pathway toward recovery.
Many people love the simultaneous thrill and sense of calm that comes with riding a motorcycle. However, the fact remains that motorcycles are some of the most dangerous modes of transportation that exist.
In fact, in 2017, motorcyclists were 27 times more likely to die in an accident than passenger cars per vehicle mile traveled. Despite increases in motorcycle safety and a rise in helmet use by riders, there is never any way to prevent involvement in a motorcycle accident with any certainty.
Due to the size of motorcycles compared to passenger vehicles and trucks, they can be less visible to other vehicles and more susceptible to being hit. Further, motorcycles are less stable than vehicles with more than 2 wheels.
If you are a motorcyclist who has sustained injuries in an accident, contact an attorney today to see how you can recover.
Slip and Fall
One of the most common types of personal injury accidents is the “slip-and-fall” case.
You may have heard of slip-and-fall accidents before but never given them much thought. Surprisingly, however, slip-and-fall accidents can result in significant injuries and potentially complicated legal proceedings.
A slip-and-fall accident can lead to many complications, including:
- Extensive physical injuries,
- Medical expenses,
- Time away from work as you recover,
- Lost earning capacity, and
- Emotional trauma.
Dealing with these issues can be stressful and overwhelming. But all of them are damages for which you may be able to receive compensation.
If you want to know more about how to recover in the aftermath of your slip-and-fall accident, a personal injury attorney can help.
Vantage Group Legal Services can connect you with a competent personal injury attorney to get you the compensation you need to recover.
Immigrants are essential to what makes America “America.” Unfortunately, however, countless immigrants live in fear each day of what will become of their future.
If you or a loved one is facing immigration challenges, we want to help.
At Vantage Group Legal Services, we will connect you with the best possible legal representation to help you fight for your rights and maintain your legal status in the United States. Examples of services our network immigration attorneys can assist with include:
- Navigating the immigration process;
- Renewing DACA status; and
- Applying for and obtaining visas and citizenship.
We know how important these issues are to you and your family, and we will do everything in our power to advocate for your rights and get you the help you need.
The concept of civil litigation can seem intimidating if you are unfamiliar with how the process works. Sometimes, however, you just can’t avoid involvement in a civil lawsuit. So what do you do if you are considering bringing a lawsuit against someone else or if you are haled into court by another party?
You can always handle a lawsuit on your own, but why do so if you don’t have to?
The civil litigation process can be lengthy and complex, regardless of whether you are the plaintiff or defendant. A civil litigation attorney who handles lawsuits for a living can be a great asset to you and your case.
An experienced litigator can help you:
- Analyze your case,
- Draft and file court paperwork,
- Negotiate with opposing parties, and
- Prepare for and take your case to trial if and when it becomes necessary.
If you are in need of a Chicago civil litigation attorney, look no further. Contact Vantage Group Legal Services for a free consultation to discuss our services and get connected with a seasoned civil litigator in our attorney network.
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Once the court has allocated significant decision-making responsibility and determined a permanent parenting plan—both in the best interest of the child, it will determine the child support obligations for either or both parents. Note that the primary residential parent is not necessarily always the recipient of child support. Sometimes the parent with less parenting time receives support from the parent with more parenting time. This might be the case when one parent makes substantially more money than the other. The method to determine child support in Illinois is known as the income shares method. The following is a simplified summary of the process Illinois courts use to determine one’s child support obligation. Facing a child support issue in Illinois? You’re in the right place. Call 24/7 for a free consultation: (773) 938-4747 Standard Child Support Calculation The following formula applies when one of the parties exercises less than 146 days of parenting time per year. Step One: Determine Your Adjusted Net Income Adjusted net income is generally gross income minus taxes and other permissible deductions. If Father earns $8,000 per month and pays $2,000 per month in taxes, his adjusted net income would be $6,000. Step Two: Determine Your Combined Adjusted Net Income Combined adjusted net income is determined by adding each parent’s adjusted net income together. For example, if Father nets $6,000 per month, and Mother nets $5,000 per month, then the parties’ combined adjusted net income would be $11,000 per month. Step Three: Determine the Total Child Support Obligation The Illinois Income Shares Schedule is used to determine how much financial support a child is entitled to. The schedule is meant to approximate how much support the child would have received if the parents were married and living together. To determine one’s total support obligation, look for the parent’s combined net income on the left-hand side of the schedule, and match it to the number of minor children listed at the top. For example, Mother and Father have three children and a combined adjusted net income of $11,000 per month. Pursuant to the Illinois Income Shares Schedule, the total child support obligation for three children is $2,755 per month. Step Four: Determine Each Parent’s Share of the Total Child Support Obligation For this step, divide a parent’s respective monthly net income (From Step 1) by the parents’ combined net income (From Step 2), then multiply the answer by the total child support obligation amount (From Step 3). For example, if Father nets $6,000 per month, and Mother nets $5,000 per month, the parents combined net income is $11,000 per month. $6,000 divided by $11,000 is 55%. 55% multiplied by $2,755 comes to $1,503 per month for Father. Use the same calculation for Mother. $5,000 per month divided by $11,000 is 45%. 45% multiplied by $2,755 comes to $1,252 per month for Mother. Step Five: The Non-Custodial Parent Pays Their Entire Share to the Custodial Parent If the children reside primarily with Father, Mother must pay him all her share ($1,252 per month). Because Father is the custodial or primary residential parent, Illinois courts will presume that he is properly contributing his own share ($1,503 per month) toward necessities for the children. Shared Parenting Child Support Calculation Illinois courts calculate child support differently when each parent exercises at least 146 days (overnights) or 40% of parenting time with the child. Generally, child support calculated pursuant to a shared parenting time schedule will yield a much lower child support obligation for the noncustodial parent. Step One: Determine Your Adjusted Net Income Adjusted net income is generally gross income minus taxes and other permissible deductions. If Father earns $8,000 per month and pays $2,000 per month in taxes, his adjusted net income would be $6,000. Step Two: Determine Your Combined Adjusted Net Income Combined adjusted net income is determined by adding each parent’s adjusted net income together. For example, if Father nets $6,000 per month, and Mother nets $5,000 per month, then the parties’ combined adjusted net income would be $11,000 per month. Step Three: Determine the Total Child Support Obligation Illinois courts increase the total child support obligation for shared parenting arrangements. To determine the total support obligation, look for the parents’ combined net income on the left-hand side of the income shares schedule, and match it to the number of minor children listed at the top. Next, multiply that amount by 150%. For example, Mother and Father have three children and a combined adjusted net income of $11,000 per month. Pursuant to the Illinois Income Shares Schedule, the child support obligation for three children is $2,755 per month. $2,755 multiplied by 150% is $4,132.50. $4,132.50 is the total child support obligation. Step Four: Determine Each Parent’s Share of the Total Child Support Obligation For this step, divide a parent’s respective monthly net income (from Step 1) by both parents’ combined net income (from Step 2), then multiply the answer by the total child support obligation amount (from Step 3). Now, multiply that answer by the other parent’s percentage of parenting time out of the year. In this scenario, we will assume that the parents share parenting time 50/50. If Father nets $6,000 per month, and Mother nets $5,000 per month, the parents’ combined net income is $11,000 per month. $6,000 divided by $11,000 is 55%. 55% multiplied by $4,132.50 comes to $2,272.88. $2,272.88 multiplied by 50% parenting time comes to $1,136.44. For Mother, $5,000 per month divided by $11,000 is 45%. 45% multiplied by $4,132.50 comes to $1,859.63. $1,859.63 multiplied by 50% parenting time comes to $929.82. Step Five: Offset the Difference Even though Father exercises 50/50 parenting time, he makes more money, and thus contributes more. In the example above, Father would pay Mother the difference between $1,136.44 and $929.82. His total child support obligation comes to a mere $206.62 per month. An Experienced Family Law Attorney Can Help Maximize Your Parenting Time Depending on the number of overnights you have with your child, you may be able...Keep Reading
Divorce in Illinois is expensive. At Vantage Group Legal, we can help you do get it done for less. Worrying about how much a divorce costs in Illinois adds to that emotion and stress. While no one may know what your divorce will ultimately cost, carefully considering the following factors may provide guidance. Understanding where to place your priorities and what fees may be unavoidable in the process minimizes the risk of surprises and assists in managing your expectations. What are the Costs Involved With Divorce in Illinois? Initial Fees for an Illinois Divorce Even if you and your ex-spouse mutually agree to end your marriage based on irreconcilable differences, unavoidable fees make up part of the average divorce cost in Illinois. You must file your petition for divorce in the county where you reside. The average cost to file for divorce in Illinois varies from county to county. For example, in Cook County, parties are responsible for paying the following costs for processing a divorce: $337 to open a case and file for divorce, $206 to respond if your ex-spouse files for divorce first, $60 to have the sheriff serve your spouse with a copy of filings, and $50 to attend FOCUS on children, court-ordered parenting classes. These fees may seem minimal, but they typically make up only a portion of the divorce cost in Illinois. Looking to keep your Illinois divorce costs down? You’re in the right place. Call us 24/7 for a free consultation: (773) 938-4747 Divorce Attorney Retainer Costs Many attorneys require clients to pay a retainer payment. A retainer payment is an advance deposit paid initially to hire the attorney. While the average retainer payment varies from attorney to attorney, retainer payments increase how much it costs to file for divorce in Illinois. Most attorneys require retainer payments to pay for court fees, attorney fees, and other expenses arising in your case. Retainer payments rarely constitute the total divorce costs in Illinois. Divorce Attorney Hourly Rate The hourly rate of any potential attorney you hire affects how much a divorce costs in Illinois. For example, even simple issues increase the average cost of your divorce in Illinois if your attorney charges a high hourly rate. Suppose the complexity of your dissolution requires multiple court hearings, trials, and conferences with the attorney representing your ex-spouse. This can increase your divorce costs in Illinois exponentially. When your potential divorce cost in Illinois represents a significant concern, it’s essential to utilize your attorney’s assistance strategically. You do not want to call your attorney for every little thing, but only legal matters for which you require help and advice. Other Factors That Affect the Cost of Divorce in Illinois Multiple factors significantly increase the divorce cost in Illinois. Determining whether these factors may come into play in your dissolution process may prepare you for potential costs to consider. Trial When unable to resolve issues, your attorney must represent your interest at trial. A trial requires significant preparation by your attorney and can be expensive. Children When the parties have minor children, the cost of divorce in Illinois often skyrockets. Disputes often arise due to disagreements over child support, child custody, and visitation. Parties may save on the average cost of divorce in Illinois if they agree on issues about the children. Property When parties own property or multiple pieces of property, divorce costs in Illinois increase. Parties unable to reach an agreement regarding property division must rely on the court to determine who gets what—reaching an agreement as to property division out of court assists in reducing the cost of divorce in Illinois. Mediation may be an option for parties unable to reach an agreement on multiple issues about their divorce. To save on the divorce cost in Illinois, a skilled mediator may provide solutions to disagreements between parties. What are the Grounds for Divorce in Illinois? The type of divorce you pursue can affect the divorce cost in Illinois. The degree to which you are able to cooperate with your spouse will help determine how much a divorce costs in Illinois. No-Fault Dissolution Formerly, Illinois permitted a spouse to file for dissolution of marriage on fault-based grounds. The grounds for fault-based dissolution included infidelity, cruelty, abandonment, and many others. However, as of January 1, 2016, Illinois legislation eliminated fault-based dissolution and now permits parties to file for divorce under irreconcilable differences. Therefore, a party may file for dissolution of the marriage simply by representing that the marriage is an irretrievably broken union with no hope for reconciliation between the parties. The court then must find that the reconciliation efforts by the parties failed and future attempts to reconcile are impracticable and not in the best interests of the family. Proving irreconcilable differences requires a showing that the parties have lived apart for at least six months. Once parties establish the six-month separation, the court presumes satisfaction of the irreconcilability requirement. Additionally, you may receive a divorce decree with no waiting period if both parties agree to irreconcilable differences. When both parties agree to irreconcilable differences, this may substantially reduce the cost of your divorce in Illinois. However, even if your spouse disagrees, you may still receive a divorce decree after the six months have passed. Collaborative Divorce Collaborative divorce provides another option for cost-sensitive parties and operates similarly to mediation. Attorneys work to resolve differences between parties. Upon resolution, the attorneys draft an agreement reflecting the resolution reached by the parties. Collaborative divorce significantly decreases the average cost of divorce in Illinois by reducing court involvement. How Can Vantage Group Legal Help You Lower Your Divorce Costs? Vantage Group Legal understands the stress and emotions associated with divorce. We help clients find the best divorce attorney for them! Call our office to discuss your case either in person or virtually with one of our in-house attorneys. In this initial consultation, you advise us of your goals and any concerns you may have regarding divorce costs in Illinois. We...Keep Reading