Dissolution of Marriage

Illinois law regulates family law which includes marriage, divorce, child support, child custody, children’s welfare and other related topics. These are highly personal areas of life and influenced by strong emotions. Illinois’s family law statutes attempt to ensure that each family member’s individual rights are secure while serving their best interests.

Illinois Dissolution of Marriage

Illinois is a “no-fault” divorce state. “No-fault” means that there are no specific legal grounds that a party must allege to qualify for a legal dissolution of marriage. The only requirements are that one or both parties must have lived in Illinois for 90 days or longer before filing a petition for divorce and at least one party must be able to testify that the divorce is happening as a result of “irreconcilable differences.” If the couple has been living separately and apart, as defined by the statute, for a period of six months or longer, a court may presume that there were irreconcilable differences. Complex issues may arise during a dissolution of marriage related to maintenance of a spouse, determination of marital property and valuations, and determination of an equitable division of the marital property between spouses.

Allocation of Parental Responsibility and Parenting Time in Illinois

Parents who file for divorce face important decisions when they have minor children. They must decide which parent, or both, will have the majority of time with the children and the percentage of time each parent will spend with the children. In Illinois, these decisions are referred to as “decision-making” and “parenting time.”

Parental decisions are governed by a court order or a formal agreement between parents. The court may decide to allocate most or all of the decision-making responsibilities to only one parent or may decide it should be joint. These are the types of issues that may be divided between the parents for decision-making responsibilities: Education, Health, Religious upbringing, Extracurricular activities. Courts use a standard called the “best interests of the child or children” when making decisions about parental responsibility and parenting time. Child support is typically based on a variety of factors including the income of both parents and the amount of parenting time and health insurance. Every family is different. Few couples need a lawyer when they get married, but most would benefit from having an experienced attorney help navigate family law issues.

Emotions can run high during a divorce and the attorneys at FMGR are available to assist, negotiate, and represent your interests before a court or to help you resolve difficult issues. Contact us today.


Adoption is a legal procedure which establishes a new family relationship between the adopting parents and the child who is being adopted. After the completion of the adoption process, the adopting parents have the same rights, duties, and responsibilities to the child as the birthparents. Some general rules apply to adoption proceedings. A single or divorced person, or a couple (unmarried or same-sex) can adopt a child. If the adopting persons are married, both the husband and wife must join in the petition unless they have been separated for over a year. A child who is over the age of fourteen years may be required to agree to being adopted. Adoption usually requires that the parent or parents asking for the adoption and the child or children to be adopted appear before a judge. At the court appearance, if everything is in order, the judge may enter an interim, or temporary, order of custody in favor of the adopting parent(s) and when the adoption is ready to be finalized, the lawyer may present the proper documents to the judge, who will enter a judgment of adoption.

After completion of the adoption, a new birth certificate is normally issued for the child. The new birth record will show the adoptive parent(s) as if they were the parent(s) at the time of birth of the child. There are several types of adoptions including adoptions initiated through an agency, related individuals, foreign adoptions, non-agency and non-related adoptions, or even an adult adoption. It is very rare for an individual to successfully navigate an adoption without the assistance of an attorney and the attorneys at FMGR are available to help you navigate the process.

Our Family Law and Adoption Attorneys

Chad Orso