Litigation and Other Services
for Family Law Issues
Divorce is stressful for all parties, including children. Whether it has come quickly or is a result of long-standing problems, you don’t want the process to drag on, prolonging the uncertainty.
DuPage County family law and divorce attorney Michael L. Lodermeier is committed to helping you achieve a positive resolution to your divorce. We will work with you in addressing issues that may arise during the divorce process in an economically efficient manner that protects your rights and long-term best interests. These issues include the division of marital property, pension valuation and division, spousal support (maintenance/alimony), child custody, and child support.
With honest, competent, and aggressive legal guidance from an experienced attorney and the support of a professional legal team, you will arrive at a solid divorce settlement and a positive, new chapter in your life. Allow us to guide you through the process in a manner that is mindful of your financial resources and your personal goals.
We are also aware of how a divorce can negatively affect your finances. Because of this, we help you secure child support, spousal support (alimony/maintenance), equitable distribution, college costs, medical insurance, unreimbursed medical expenses, child care expenses, and life insurance for you and your children.
Custody and Visitation Attorney in DuPage County
Questions about child custody and visitation may arise in situations such as divorce, dissolution of marriage, and establishing paternity or parentage. The outcome of a child custody hearing is often greatly influenced by what happened during the period of separation, which is why it is critical to handle the case correctly from the outset.
Michael L. Lodermeier P.C. protects the rights and relationships of mothers, fathers, and children. We work hard to ensure that parents find ways to work together for the best interest of their children. Additionally, we can assist you with every aspect of your child custody and visitation concerns, as well as answer questions about Illinois child support and grandparents’ rights to visitation.
Child Custody Arrangements
A child custody determination will be made at the time of your divorce or parentage action. There will be an assessment of the parent's capabilities and involvement in providing the needs in the best interests of the child.
After this, a child custody order will establish who will be the decision-making authority (legal custody) and who will have physical responsibility for the child's care (residential custody). Various arrangements are possible, including sole physical and legal custody, joint custody (where one parent is designated the residential parent), and shared residential custody.
Michael L. Lodermeier, P.C.’s legal team will develop a clear and compelling case to highlight your capabilities as a parent. We will also help you access expert resources when needed to build a strong case for custody.
Child Visitation and Parenting Schedules
Child visitation and parenting schedules must accommodate the needs of both parent and child. We take the time to understand your unique family situation and your child’s need to help you secure a detailed parenting schedule that minimizes conflicts and misunderstandings.
Modifications to Custody or Visitation Schedules
A modification to custody judgments or visitation schedules is often needed to accommodate changing circumstances and the child's needs. Existing arrangements may be unworkable if the following circumstances arise:
- Change at Work or Home
- Relocation Caused by a New Job
- A Former Partner Proved to Be an Unfit Parent
Child visitation rights are some of the most contentious aspects of a divorce or parentage action. The care of minor children is always of primary importance to parents, and this portion of the divorce usually takes longer to decide than the division of marital assets.
In most cases, when one parent is awarded the sole custody of the child, the non-custodial parent will be awarded visitation rights. There are exceptions to this, like when evidence of abuse, neglect, drug or alcohol addiction, mental instability, and propensity to abuse orders and directives of the court is apparent. These factors can influence the court to believe that it is in the best interest of the child to not be in the company of the other parent.
If we have reason to believe that a minor may be in mental or physical danger, we will press hard to limit visitation until the situation changes. Our attorneys will always consider the best interest of the child when making a case to the court.
Child Visitation Rights: Court Decisions
If the parents can come to an agreement before the proceedings, then it is not necessary to have the court award child visitation rights. After all, it can be settled out of court and cemented in a custody and visitation agreement. However, should there be no amicable discussion, child visitation rights will be determined by the court and solidified in a custody and visitation order.
When the court can see that the parents of the minor are cooperative in working with each other, the visitation schedule will be loosely defined. Parents can work on a plan according to their schedule and location. But if they are unable to work out an amicable agreement, the court will draft a detailed, clearly defined visitation plan. The plan will include frequency, days of the week, pick up and return times, which holidays each parent gets, vacation days, and where children may or may not travel, etc., so there will be no doubt of privilege or lack thereof.
The wishes of minor children, whenever possible, are taken into consideration in all custody and visitation issues. The court will make every effort to work with the wishes of the child, but ultimately the best interest of the child will be put forward as there may be influence over the child’s wishes or decision by the de facto custodial parent. As the child matures in age, the courts will place a greater emphasis on what the child wants.
At our law office, we believe that it is important for the sake of the children to at least make an effort to come to a custody and child visitation plan without the force of the court. It creates a more harmonious and happy outcome for the children involved.
DuPage County Visitation Lawyers Will Protect Your Rights
One of the more common and difficult issues that all child visitation lawyers face is when parents use the children as a means of getting back at their spouse. This happens whether lawyers are controlling their clients or fighting against the opposing side. We don’t believe that this type of behavior is acceptable, so we do our best to try and stem the tide of bitterness that comes with divorces and parentage cases.
Our team often sees parents who will be late for pickup or drop-off schedules as well as custodial parents who find excuses for visitations to be postponed. The courts have many methods to will to correct situations that have become problematic. Michael L. Lodermeier, P.C. aims to resolve these issues with you before it reaches the point where a court order is necessary to reach out to the other party. When violations became habitual, we will work hard for you and the best interests of your child.
When necessary, your child visitation attorney will go through the courts to seek redress for violations of court orders or ask for modifications and changes, both temporary and permanent nature. In extreme cases, we will work to secure supervised visitation.
Before amending the previous order, the court requires clear and factual evidence demonstrating a change in circumstance or existence of an emergency. Reasons for modifications include change of circumstance, violation or disregard for previous orders, allegations of abuse or neglect, and parental abandonment.
Presenting evidence of adverse effects on the life or health of the child will make the court act on the best interests of the child in mind. We routinely work with them to have orders modified, always choosing the temporary option when possible, because most children are well aware of the situation and continue to hold both parents in high regard. We do our best to create child visitation changes while considering the child's feelings.
Property division can be one of the most hostile aspects of going through a divorce. Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state in which the court must impartially divide the property accumulated during the marriage. A variety of different factors is considered during the division of marital property, which is why it is important to hire an experienced attorney.
In property division, the court must first determine which properties owned by the parties are marital or non-marital. Non-marital property is property, generally and with exceptions, acquired by a party before marriage or by direct gift and maintained separately from the marital estate. Marital property, again, generally and with exceptions, is property acquired by the parties during the marriage, which includes income.
Only marital property can be divided by the court. However, the court may take into consideration a party’s non-marital assets when making an equitable division of the marital estate. The court’s objective is not an even split, but a fair split to be fair to both the individuals in the marriage and the marriage itself.
Dividing marital property is the job of the attorneys and the courts. Divorce and property division is what makes or breaks a family law practice. Being able to navigate the property division in divorce cases and produce the most equitable result for the client is the duty of every firm.
The separation of marital property is formulaic. Your spouse can receive a great deal or very little, depending on what the attorney can prove in the court in regards to the length of the relationship, contributions of both partners, and who owned what and when. The investigation of divorce property sometimes requires your attorney to reach out to investigators to ensure that all of the marital property has been located and produced for the court’s consideration.
We want you to have what you deserve from a marriage that you went into with the best intentions. It is our goal to provide a truly equitable distribution of your property. We want children to see a seamless transition in life, even if their parents cannot live together.
Child Support Attorney in DuPage County
Child support determinations made at the time of divorce or during a paternity case can affect both parents and children. It is applicable until the child’s emancipation at the age of 18 or graduation from high school. Whether you need to establish or modify child support, assistance with an inappropriate support order, an experienced lawyer can help protect your rights.
Our attorneys at Michael L. Lodermeier, P.C. have extensive experience in court proceedings to establish or modify child support orders. Whether you are seeking to collect child support or need legal help to protect yourself against unfair and unmanageable child support payments, we can help you.
Obtaining Child Support Payments
Child support determinations are based on the Illinois Statutory Child Support Guidelines. It takes into account the child custody arrangements, the financial position of each parent, and the needs of the child. Under Illinois law, both parents are responsible for providing appropriate support for their children.
Michael L. Lodermeier, P.C. presents all financial facts to ensure that the child support ordered is fair and appropriate. This is not always easy, as some parents hide income and do not present an accurate accounting of their finances. When needed, we can work with an investigator to uncover hidden assets, so the child receives the support he or she is due.
Enforcement of Child Support Obligations
If you have an existing child support order and you are owed back child support, we can help you take legal action to collect unpaid support payments. Illinois child support law provides several penalties for parents who have not paid or are behind on their support payments. There are things we can do to enforce child support collections and get you the support you need.
Defense If Your Child Support Order Is Unfair or You Are Facing Legal Consequences for Unpaid Child Support
The State of Illinois cracks down hard on parents who have liabilities with their child support. They impose criminal penalties, wage garnishment, and even the suspension of a parent’s driver’s license to get them to pay. But sometimes, the State’s actions are wrong or unfair.
If you have lost your job or have taken a significant pay cut, you need to act immediately and contact us before a financial challenge becomes a legal nightmare. Your legal obligation and support amount can only be modified after you have filed the appropriate petition with the court. They cannot modify your support obligation retroactively before the filing. You are still legally responsible for the entire amount of support until you file your petition and give the custodial parent notice.
Spousal Support Attorney in DuPage County
Spousal support, alimony, or spousal maintenance is the continued payment made from one spouse to another to maintain a certain standard of living after a divorce. In addition to child custody issues or division of property, it is one of the most contentious issues that parties may face.
A spousal support determination will be made based on the standard of living of the parties at the time of divorce. This includes each party’s income, the duration of the marriage, and individual needs.
Whether you are seeking to collect spousal support or protect yourself against unmanageable obligations, we will identify all of your needs and articulate your rights in court. We can assist you in recovering immediate payments even before a divorce is finalized. If you are seeking spousal support, your attorney must be experienced in tracing hidden assets and identifying all of the support you may be entitled to.
Obtaining the Highest Support Order on Your Behalf
A spouse or partner may often need money if their primary role was as a homemaker or in childcare. We work to obtain the highest support order to protect their finances at the time of divorce or dissolution. Our team is experienced in all technical aspects of the investigation, including tracing assets and income for the self-employed and identifying all resources. We do this to ensure that the income of the other spouse or partner is properly documented and accurate. In undertaking these tasks, Attorney Nathans is assisted by our experienced paralegal and other professional staff members.
Opposing Spousal Support
Aside from being competent in seeking the highest support order, we are also experienced in defending against spousal support payments. Our legal team routinely works with accountants and other experts to accomplish your objectives. If you are concerned about unmanageable or inappropriate support payments, we can assist you in getting all the deductions and credits that you are entitled to.
Paternity Lawyers in DuPage, Cook, and Will Counties
Family law often involves very personal matters. It includes legal concerns relating to paternity testing, child custody, and visitation rights for fathers, which are often emotional and contentious. Whether you need help in legally compelling a person to take a DNA test or want to reverse a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity you signed, you should choose an attorney that makes you feel comfortable.
DNA Paternity Testing ▪ Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity ▪ Child Support
We know that paternity issues can become complex and can involve out-of-state custody proceedings and international laws, including the Hague Convention. When you work with Michael L. Lodermeier P.C., you have our experience at your service.
Paternity Law and Children
Like all legal matters, paternity law can be complicated, particularly when the issue is about custody and child support. You will be working closely with your lawyer on some emotional and important issues. Because of this, you should choose an attorney who is experienced and has a strict dedication to each client.
Paternity issues involving children are typically very sensitive, even when there isn’t a custody dispute. From child support arrangements to child visitation agreements, several matters need to be taken into consideration. Most importantly, the well-being of the children needs to be the top priority for both parents. Fortunately, Michael L. Lodermeier, P.C. can help you work through these issues and achieve the best possible outcome for your children.
The term paternity refers to the legal determination of the biological father of a child. While the identity of a child’s biological mother is usually known, the father’s identity may not always be as certain. Issues like this often arise in cases involving child support, but they can also be essential with adoption, inheritance, custody and visitation, health care, and other matters.
An action to establish paternity is called a civil proceeding. Most states require that paternity be established by a preponderance of the evidence, which means that it must be more likely than not that the man is the biological father of the child.
DNA profiling is a breakthrough in paternity testing. In a test, the scientist examines the genetic materials that the child inherited from his or her biological parents.
First, we compare the child’s genes to the mother's. The traits in the child that are not found in the mother are determined to have acquired from the father. If the man being tested does not have these inherited attributes as well, then he can be scientifically excluded. If he does, the probability of his paternity will be calculated.
DNA testing can establish a father’s paternity with more than 99% accuracy and can also be done even before the child is born. It is generally done only when a party contests paternity allegations. For instance, the putative (or alleged) father in a paternity action that is the basis for child support may require proof that he is the child’s father before he consents to payment of support. In other situations, the mother may contest the putative father’s paternity, such as when a man attempts to gain custody of, or visitation with, a child he believes to be his.
In contrast, paternity may also be established by circumstantial evidence. When a man takes a child into his home and holds the child out to the public as his own, then he will be considered the child's father. Similarly, a married man is presumed to be the father of a baby born to his wife during or shortly after their marriage as well.
Once paternity is established by DNA or circumstantial evidence, the father may be ordered to pay child support. Generally, a father who is not married to the child’s mother will not be awarded custody, especially if the mother is providing reasonable care. However, he may receive preference over third parties, such as grandparents or prospective adoptive parents.
Paternity issues, like most family law issues, can have far-reaching implications, both financially and emotionally. It is important when faced with these issues to seek the counsel of an objective, experienced lawyer who can guide clients through the legal maze of these difficult, emotionally charged matters.
Domestic Violence Attorney in DuPage and Cook Counties
Domestic violence charges can have a serious impact on legal determinations in family law cases. It may prevent you from custody or visitation rights. Family violence records may also prohibit an offender from taking certain jobs or obtaining legal rights.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, you may be able to take certain legal action to protect you and your children's safety. We are experienced in all aspects of domestic violence law and committed to aggressively asserting the rights of clients in all cases.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, do not hesitate to protect your legal rights and safety. We are dedicated to obtaining the legal protections you and your family need.
Domestic Abuse and Restraining Orders
A victim of abuse has the legal rights and options to protect their safety against an abuser. If you are in direct danger, we can help you seek a restraining order or obtain an emergency order of protection to ensure your immediate safety and that of your children.
False Accusations of Domestic Violence or Abuse
Unfortunately, many family legal cases can result in false accusations of domestic abuse, including spousal and child abuse. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, you have the right to defend yourself. We are experienced in aggressively defending clients against false accusations of abuse to protect their rights to custody or visitation and prevent a serious criminal record.
Choosing the right lawyer is the first step in winning your case. Contact us today to discuss your situation with our team.