Divorce of a Civil Union or Marriage
The lawyers at Metz & Jones LLC have successfully handled many divorce cases over the years, and are skilled at helping clients in the Edgewater, Andersonville, Uptown and Lakeview areas present their best LGBT divorce case in court. Whether you are faced with a divorce, custody dispute or property valuation, the outcome of your case truly depends on your choice of attorneys. Choose the Chicago divorce lawyers at Metz & Jones LLC for compassionate, effective legal representation.
Divorce proceedings are difficult and painful for everyone involved. Metz & Jones LLC will help you by familiarizing you with the complicated legal processes and offering kind and dignified legal support.
You will be assisted in navigating the legal path required to determine the division of your property and the custody arrangements for your children. Metz & Jones LLC is here to protect your interests in this complex and emotional process.
Division of Property
In a divorce, all the family assets need to be analyzed and divided equitably. This does not mean that the court will simply award each party half of your property. Instead the court will hear both sides and come up with a fair plan based on each spouse’s debt load, income, custodial status, disabilities and other factors. There are a number of methods used to fairly divide up properly, including bartering, selling marital property and dividing the the profit equally, or by using a mediator or arbitrator.
Metz & Jones LLC will strive to make sure the outcome reflects your family’s real situation. Our attorneys are able to negotiate the financial matters of child support and maintenance where appropriate, and litigate these matters if necessary. We can also help you make adjustments to your will and other estate documents.
Custody and Visitation
One of the most emotional aspects of any divorce is arranging for the custody of the children The court awards custody based on the best interest of the child. For most families, joint custody is preferred. This keeps both parents involved in and responsible for the care of their children. Even with joint custody, one parent is typically designated the residential parent with the nonresidential parent paying child support to the residential parent. Metz & Jones LLC will help you arrange mediation, negotiate custody and visitation, and arrange a guardianship, if necessary. Our firm will help your family come to the best arrangement possible for the future of your children.
There are numerous reasons why couples choose or the judge decides that one parent will be the sole custodial parent. The decision may be based on how the parents interrelate with each other, on financial resources, or on other mitigating circumstances of the parties involved. In this case, the court will require the noncustodial parent to pay child support. If you and your spouse cannot agree on custody, Illinois law requires that you go to mediation to work out a parenting arrangement. If an agreement can’t be reached, the court will appoint an attorney or a guardian ad litem for the child. This representative for the child will continue negotiations with the parents’ attorneys, but if an agreement can still not be reached, then there will be a hearing at the end of which the judge will decide.
Same-Sex Couples Divorce
Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Illinois and that civil unions are also still legal in Illinois, same-sex couples who join in a marriage or civil union must undergo a divorce proceeding if their relationship breaks down. Dealing with issues such as child custody, the division of marital property and more must be addressed before individuals can go their separate ways following a divorce. At Metz & Jones LLC, we work with same-sex couples and help them achieve the best outcome possible as we help them navigate Illinois’ divorce process. Please speak with us today to learn more about our services and to discuss your needs.
Mediation: What Is It? Can It Help?
Mediation is a process where the couple meets outside of the more formal and adversarial atmosphere of the court. You and your spouse sit down with a trained mediator, who is a lawyer, social worker or mental health professional. Many couples have trouble communicating during a divorce, therefore a professional, neutral party can be a great asset to the process.
Settling conflicts in mediation has many advantages over fighting each other in court. Mediation is confidential, and any personal information that surfaces will not become part of a public court record. It allows for the parties to arrive at more creative and personally satisfying solutions. Mediation is also much less expensive than litigation, and typically takes less time by going at your own pace with no court time constraints.
The law requires divorcing couples to go to mediation if the parties cannot agree on a custody settlement. There is no such requirement regarding property issues. However, many couples find the mediation process very effective at settling all kinds of differences that come up in a divorce. Some issues that can be discussed during mediation are custody of the children, division of assets, child support, and tax and finance issues.
Metz & Jones LLC has attorneys who can assist you through the mediation process.
Aside from dividing up property, there are other financial discussions included in the divorce process that we can help you with. Dividing up debts is another hurdle we help tackle; you will need to know what you owe and to who. If you are unsure, you can request credit reports from credit agencies. Try to avoid debt from piling up more during the divorce process. Tax issues are another area that need to be dealt with, as it can get costly if this area is forgotten about. Retirement plans will also most likely change along with your marital status, as you may have previously been entitled to half of your spouse’s plan. At Metz & Jones LLC, we are skilled gay divorce lawyers and will help you with each and every step along the way of your divorce.
Contact Metz & Jones LLC for a Consultation
Please contact our Illinois family law office online or call 773-878-4480 today to schedule an initial consultation.
Serving the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community and Friends in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois.