Central Illinois Family Lawyers
Our Peoria-based family law attorneys provide legal advice and counsel to clients planning for their futures. We help clients understand family law, allowing them to make the best possible, well-informed decisions for themselves and their families. In all family law matters, including divorces, child custody matters and adoptions, we aim to handle cases efficiently and cost-effectively. We communicate closely with clients to keep them up-to-date on what has already happened and informed about what is likely to happen next in their cases.
Divorce (Dissolution of Marriage)
Quinn Johnston works closely with clients to understand their goals and to investigate their unique situations. After a thorough conversation, we can help a client decide if divorce is his or her best option, and if so, what grounds for divorce should be alleged. Most divorces in Illinois are “no-fault” divorces, which allege that the marriage must end due to irreconcilable differences between spouses. However, Illinois law does allow for fault-based divorces on grounds such as mental cruelty, adultery and abandonment. We help clients determine which grounds are most appropriate in their cases.
We also thoroughly investigate the financial information of both spouses in every divorce case so that we may best protect our client’s rights and interests. Most of our clients and their spouses are facing tough decisions relating to the division of their assets. These assets may include the marital home, bank accounts, cars, boats, retirement savings (such as 401Ks and IRAs), life insurance policies, certificates of deposit (CDs), bonuses and commissions. We have the experience needed to value these assets, many of which appreciate or depreciate over time.
Assessing the Value of Businesses Involved in Divorces
It can be especially difficult to divide assets between spouses when one or both of the parties is a professional. Our firm has experience representing every type of client in divorces involving businesses, including professionals, business owners, their spouses, and third-parties with an interest in partnerships and closely-held corporations. We work to determine the value of the business and how that value should be split fairly among all parties.
Maintenance (Spousal Support/Alimony)
In certain cases, one spouse may be entitled to receive maintenance from the other spouse. Courts determine if a party should be awarded maintenance, after looking at factors such as the parties’ respective incomes, the length of the marriage, and the age and health of the parties. We help our clients reach fair spousal support agreements to maintain both parties’ financial stability following the divorce. These agreements include the terms of the payments, such as the amount of time the payments will last and the amount of each payment.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract that defines ownership and management of property during a marriage and lays out how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement is not a sign that a couple does not expect their marriage to last or a sign of distrust between soon-to-be spouses. In fact, speaking with an attorney about finances and discussing financial philosophies prior to a marriage can help avoid disagreements after the wedding. Even if no formal prenuptial agreement is entered into by a couple, frank communication between future spouses and an attorney can be very useful.
In the unfortunate event that a marriage does end, a prenuptial agreement can help avoid lengthy, expensive divorce litigation and can shorten the divorce process. Prenuptial agreements are a good idea for every couple planning to wed, but are especially recommended for couples who already have significant assets and couples who already have children.
Child Custody and Child Support
In every family law matter involving children, Illinois courts put their best interests first. Quinn Johnston agrees with that priority. We believe that it is in the best interests of children for their parents to come to a mutual agreement regarding legal custody, physical custody and visitation. Legal custody is the right to make important decisions for a child. Physical custody involves the question of where a child lives for most of the time. In each case involving child custody and support, we work carefully with our client and the attorney representing the other parent to try to reach an amicable, fair agreement as quickly as possible.
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act sets statutory guidelines for child support payments. (750 ILCS 5/505) These guidelines set minimum percentages of a non-custodial parent’s net income to be paid for child support. The percentages are based on the number of children being supported. However, courts may also consider other factors such as the financial needs of the children, the financial resources of the custodial parent and non-custodial parent, and the physical and mental condition of the children. We carefully determine both parents’ net incomes so that we may best protect our client’s interests, as well as the interests of their children.
We provide legal support to couples expanding their families through adoption. The Illinois Adoption Act sets guidelines for adoptions in our state. We help stepparents legally adopt stepchildren. We also can help with agency adoptions, by which a parent adopts a child from a public or licensed child welfare agency, and adoptions in which a parent adopts a directly child from the birth parents.
About Quinn Johnston
Quinn Johnston was featured by Fortune Legal Marketplace as a 2013 Top Ranked Law Firm based on Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent ratings for ethical standards and legal ability. Several of our attorneys have also been named as Leading Lawyers by their peers in the Leading Lawyers Network. We represent clients throughout Central Illinois, including in Peoria, Pekin, Morton, East Peoria, Springfield, Bloomington-Normal, Galesburg, Quincy, Decatur, Lincoln and their surrounding areas. Our experienced litigators strongly defend clients while maintaining a high level of professionalism and ethical standards.