Taking the Next Step in Your New Life
I know you've been all over the internet, you've talked with friends and family, and now you're ready to take the next step. That means it's time to talk with a lawyer. Pick up the phone and call me, now — or click that little chat box icon in the lower right — we can talk about your case (it'll take less than ten minutes) and help you:
understand your rights,
minimize your exposure to possible losses,
expand your options,
define your likely costs, and
plan a strategy to maximize your settlement.
Knowledge is power. If you want to know more about how Illinois law impacts your case and life, check out my library of Legal Advice Articles. It's updated DAILY. It has links to all the Illinois laws you need to know about, and the articles even link to the seminal cases that define the law of the Land of Lincoln.
Before It Gets Out of Control
I know it seems like your life is becoming out of control and you don't know where to turn . . . but this is now a higher priority and you must act.
You wouldn't walk into a hospital and try to perform surgery on yourself — you'd rely on a professional.
You wouldn't try to single-handedly put out your burning home — you'd call professionals.
You wouldn't try to fix the plane to minimize your flight delay — you'd trust the professionals.
Treat your divorce with the same sense of priority. Your divorce very well may be the single biggest event in your life. It will affect your kids, your home, your retirement, your future — you're entire life will change. This is the surgery, the home fire, and the plane all rolled into one.
Here's the catch — no one knows you, your life, and your hopes for your future better than you. That means you need a lawyer to work with you as a team. That's where we come in.
Get Answers — Knowledge Begets Confidence
We're not like other lawyers. Other legal websites give very little information and talk only in the broadest "you-need-to-hire-a-lawyer" language. That's because nearly all divorce websites are written by one of three legal marketing agencies. Lawyers don't maintain them — marketing agencies do. If you think your life means little to a lawyer, it means even less to that lawyer's marketing agent.
We don't do that. We host and maintain the most thorough and authoritative website on Illinois matrimonial and family law. We update it daily. We share all the information with you. Every aspect and nuance of the law is explored, analyzed, and documented. If you need a law, we quote it; if you need a case, we link to it. We take the confusion out of the legal experience and help you focus on the important issues so that you can resolve the important decisions that only you can make.
A lot of other lawyers don't like the fact that we make all of the information available to everyone. Who cares what they want? They want to keep you in the dark and keep you scared. You need to know the law. You need to know your rights. And you need to know your options. Knowledge begets confidence and confidence allow for sound decision-making. In informed client is the best and happiest client.
How Much Is This Going to Cost?
Without knowing anything about your case, all we can say is "it depends." We can give you a very good estimate if you'll call. We offer:
Hourly Billing: This is best when your budget is a little constrained and we cannot at the outset predict with reasonable certainty where the case will lead. Many spouses, for example, have no idea how much money their spouse earns or the balance of the retirement accounts. This is the age-old, standard pay-as-you-go system. You pay a retainer up front, the lawyer does the work and bills by the hour. If the retainer is exhausted, you pony up more. If there is money left over, you get a refund.
Flat Rate Divorce: This option is best when your budget can afford it. You'll save time, money, and spare yourself a TON of stress. Once you pay the retainer, everything else is on us. You don't have to worry about whether you'll be billed for a phone call or a meeting or a court date. Once you pay, we take care of the rest.
Flat-Rate Post-Decree: Post-decree cases to modify or enforce child support (increase or decrease), maintenance, or the parenting schedule (visitation) are pretty predictable and can be streamlined to keep costs down. If you need post-decretal help, call us — you'll have all the benefits of having a seasoned lawyer on your team without a big price-tag.
Monthly Budget Plan: You pay the same amount on the same day each month. That way you'll know exactly how much you'll have to budget and we'll handle all the work that needs to be done with no extra charges.
Out-of-Court-Legal-Services — $300: It used to be that lawyers couldn't coach litigants from the sidelines nor ghost-write papers. If a lawyer was going to advise a party, the lawyer had to file an "Appearance" in the case. If a party showed up in court with ghost-written papers, the judge would demand the name of the attorney who prepared the documents and include that lawyer as part of the official record.
Thanks to a new Supreme Court rule, however, Illinois lawyers can coach pro se litigants from the sidelines. Lawyers may ghost-write pleadings and settlement papers for pro se litigants. That keeps the lawyers out of court, ensures the case is resolved properly, and minimizes the costs of the legal process.
"Unbundled" / "Limited Scope" Legal Services: It used to be that if you hired a lawyer to represent you in a matter, that lawyer (by law) had to represent you in every aspect of that matter. The lawyer couldn't go into divorce court and say "Judge, my client wants me only to divide the property, and they'll sort through the custody, support, and parenting schedules on their own."
Thanks to a recent change in Supreme Court Rules, however, clients may now designate which issues they want the lawyer to handle and which issues they'll resolve themselves. For example, you may be able to resolve the property and retirement division issues, but need help creating a parenting plan and restricting the other parent's ability to relocate with the children. In such a case, I can address ONLY the parenting plan / relocation issues. You can keep control of all other aspects of your case. That keeps you in control of how much work we can do . . . and that keeps you in control of costs.
Do It Yourself
If you think you and your spouse will agree, consider my Quick Online Divorce service. You'll tell us the terms of your agreement, you'll work with an attorney (me or an attorney in my office — we don't farm this stuff out to others) as much as you need, and you'll pay a single, low fee ($149 or $500 depending on whether you want to go to court with or without a lawyer).
Please call — we’re here to answer your questions and make sure we find a process that’s the right fit for you and your family.
If you think you can't afford a lawyer, you're wrong. In fact, if you're reading this page, you can't afford NOT to have a lawyer. Proceeding to the family courts without a lawyer on your team can spell disaster. We see cases every day where pro se (without an attorney) spouses forfeit their right to a fair division of the property, maintenance (alimony), and even fair child support. Give us a call — the call is free.
Taking the Next Step
The next step is to talk to us. We’ll schedule a confidential consultation — in-person, over-the-phone, or video-conference — and we'll talk about everything that has to happen, next. We’ll review the background of your situation, your family, and the things that are most important to you. We'll prepare for you a Specific Action Plan and make sure you know your rights and understand your options.
You’ll come in confused and with lots of questions, but you’ll leave with a game plan and a clear idea of how to move forward with your life. Divorce is scary and can make you feel like your life is falling apart. We’re here to take you through the process with safety and security.
If you’re ready to get started,
call us now at 312-987-9999
I'll Wait and Let My Spouse File First: What a mistake. Read my article on The Advantages of Filing First. There are precious few days (30) between being your spouse's Petition and your first, required court date — and that is not the time to begin around for help. You need hard answers and clear advice now, while you have the luxury of time to think, prepare, and act wisely. We're talking about your future — the next step in life — don’t jeopardize your finances, your relationship with your kids, or your future. Call us, now.
Speak directly with an experienced divorce and family law attorney
at no charge.
Chicago • Cook County
DuPage County • Kane County
Will County • McHenry County • Kankakee County • LaSalle Counties • All Points South