Family Law Practice Areas

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Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP's depth and breadth of expertise is unmatched among Chicago area family law firms. The areas in which we are preeminent include:

Family Law, Matrimonial Law, and Divorce

The terms “Family Law,” “Matrimonial Law,” and “Divorce” are sometimes used interchangeably; however, they are different. Family Law is a broad category that is not necessarily dependent upon a marriage or civil unions. For example, paternity, adoption, juvenile abuse or neglect, domestic violence proceedings, as well as...
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Appeals

No matter how thorough the trial preparation and how skilled the Illinois divorce lawyer, at times a party in a high-stakes case is dissatisfied with the results and wants to appeal. Trial judges are not perfect and can make mistakes; at other times, one of the parties refuses to accept the trial court’s final decision. In either case, the...
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Child Support

Who has custody of the child or children is an important issue in every case, but just as important is assuring the necessary financial resources to be able to maintain a child’s standard of living now and into the future. The law recognizes this obligation and provides for child support to be paid by one parent to the other. Generally, child...
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LGBT Relations

Marriages: Thanks to the historic United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges decided in 2015 marriage is no longer limited to heterosexuals. This expands the same rights and responsibilities to the LGBT community concerning marriage and divorce as those of heterosexual marriage. Never the less, there are...
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Collaborative Law

Can serious marital conflict be resolved without the time and expense of litigation? Yes—divorce need not be a battleground. The end of a marriage or resolution of family conflict is painful enough. Collaborative law offers parties a new alternative to resolve disputes or the end of a marriage with privacy and respect and with minimal court...
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Custody and Visitation

Children are the precious product of a marriage, so parenting issues are the most emotionally draining issues that arise when marriages fail. Spouses may divorce each other, but they do not divorce their children. The highs and lows of parenting will continue long after a divorce is concluded, and future parenting success will depend on how the...
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Domestic Violence and Orders of Protection

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act seeks to prevent repeated physical abuse and harassment among family, household members and disabled adults. The term “family members” includes persons related by blood, persons who are or were married, persons who share the home, apartment or other dwelling, dating couples, and persons with disabilities....
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Litigation in Trial Courts

Most people thinking about divorce begin with the hope of getting through the process without having to go to court. Unfortunately, amicable resolution works only when both people are committed to that approach. When one or both parties initially take widely divergent positions on issues that take litigation to resolve, settlement is not...
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Maintenance / Alimony

Maintenance/Spousal Support Maintenance, or spousal support, is a payment that one spouse can be ordered to make to the other spouse in order to provide support to a spouse who is not capable of supporting him or herself in the marital lifestyle after the marriage ends. Although the Illinois statute on maintenance discusses a spouse...
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Marital Settlement Agreements and Separation Agreements

Marital Settlements Marital Settlement Agreements are agreements incident to a dissolution of marriage. A Separation Agreement is an agreement between parties who remain married but are no longer living together who want to define their legal obligations and responsibilities to each other. These agreements provide the roadmap for the...
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Mediation

Mediation is a process in which divorcing couples meet with a trained mediator to explore ways to resolve family disputes with a voluntary agreement. Mediators do not represent either party. They are neutral third parties who meet individually and jointly with parties in an effort to reach a negotiated settlement. The metropolitan Chicago...
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Negotiated Settlements

Negotiated Settlements The best result in any family law matter is a negotiated settlement. Divorce is a unique type of adversarial proceeding in that often the parties must deal with each other for many years following the dissolution of their marriage, especially if they have children. A negotiated settlement provides a foundation...
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Parentage / Paternity Cases

Parentage Cases Having children outside of marriage has become an accepted alternative in today’s society. Indeed, more than half of births to American women under age thirty occur outside of marriage. Celebrities, athletes and couples from all walks of life have elected to have children without the formalities of marriage. The...
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Post Divorce Disputes

Post-Divorce Disputes Post-divorce disputes, commonly referred to as post-judgment or post-decree matters, include enforcement of divorce judgments and orders as well as modifications of those judgments. Enforcement actions may become necessary when a party is late playing support, creates problems with visitation, or does not...
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Premarital and Postnuptial Agreements

A Premarital Agreement, also commonly referred to as a Prenuptial or Antenuptial Agreement, is a legally binding contract, entered into by parties before their marriage, that defines what will happen when the marriage ends, either by dissolution or the death of one of the parties. A Postnuptial Agreement is an agreement that parties enter into...
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Property Division

Dividing property in a divorce is more complex than it may seem. First, careful study and research are necessary to be sure that all property is accounted for.  This can be accomplished informally, either by exchanging information through voluntary disclosures and corroborating sources, or after aggressive, thorough, formal discovery...
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Retirement Plans and Benefits

Plans and Benefits Many parties who contemplate divorce are surprised to learn that their retirement benefits comprise a large share of the couple’s joint assets. Nevertheless, retirement benefits have become among the largest assets to be addressed during the divorce process. If the intricacies of retirement benefits and the laws...
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Sports and Entertainment Family Law

Representing professional athletes, media personalities and entertainers or their spouses has been an important part of Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP’s history over the past 35 years.  Because such public personalities often have houses in several states, Schiller DuCanto & Fleck is often consulted by out-of-state attorneys and...
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Tax and Financial Planning in the Context of Divorce

Considerations in the Divorce Process Taxes and their impact touch almost every aspect of life; divorce is not excluded. Federal, state and local taxes must be considered in the divorce process. Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP not only has always been in the vanguard of understanding how taxes impact its clients, but its Chicago...
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