Attorney At Law
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D. SMITH - ATTORNEY AT LAW
Practicing Law Since 1980
Experienced Divorce Attorney - Aggressive Divorce Lawyer
2021 Midwest Rd. - Suite 200, Oak Brook, IL. 60523
161 N. Clark St. - Suite 4700, Chicago, IL. 60601
1800 Nations Dr. - Suite 117, Gurnee, IL. 60031
Serving Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County & Lake County - Illinois
Family Law (Divorce / Paternity / Custody / Support / Alimony)
33 YEARS EXPERIENCE
I HAVE REPRESENTED THOUSANDS OF CLIENTS IN DIVORCE CASES - MAY I HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF REPRESENTING YOU?
I live and breathe family law. Isn't it better to have an attorney who only does one area of law than an attorney who tries to handle many areas of law and excels in none?
ORDER OF PROTECTION
Credit Cards Accepted
Payment Plans Available
Free Initial Consultation
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CALL ME FOR A FREE TELEPHONE CONSULTATION: MON - SAT FROM 9:00 A.M. -10:00 P.M. I AM HERE TO HELP YOU.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS - CALL ME FOR A FREE CONSULTATION. - DIVORCE IS HARD, LET AN EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONAL MAKE IT EASIER FOR YOU.
Simple Uncontested Divorce - $1,500 Including All Costs - No Additional Charges!
Divorce Is Final in 2 to 4 Weeks If Both Parties Sign.
All attorney's fees include complete legal representation in court. Documents are prepared relating specifically to your case, an attorney explains the documents to you before you sign them and an attorney is with you in court. You are not alone - your attorney is with you every step of the way. Let my 30 years of experience work for you!
CALL ME FOR A FREE TELEPHONE CONFERENCE AT (630) 415-8705 TO DISCUSS WHAT SERVICES CAN BE PROVIDED AND THE FEE FOR SAID LEGAL SERVICES. WHEN YOU CALL MY OFFICE YOU TALK TO ME (NOT A PARALEGAL OR SOMEONE JUST OUT OF LAW SCHOOL) AND WHEN YOU GO TO COURT I AM THERE WITH YOU - NOT ANOTHER ATTORNEY (POSSIBLY SOMEONE JUST OUT OF LAW SCHOOL WITH LITTLE OR NO EXPERIENCE).
DIVORCE THROUGH THE MAIL - ONE COURT APPEARANCE:
If you don't have the time to come to my office, call me and I will give you a free initial consultation over the telephone. If you decide to retain me, I will send you a retainer agreement by email or fax and you can sign it and return it back to me via email, fax or mail with your payment by credit card, check or money order. I will then call you to obtain the information from you and transmit the documents to you for signature via email, fax or mail. When the papers are signed you can then return them to me via the mail or in person if you so desire with your final payment. On an uncontested divorce you will make one court appearance with me. I will do everything I can to handle your case in an expedient manner to save you as much time as possible. I understand that many people work long hours and have many other obligations and It is very important to me that you are totally satisfied with my legal services and I make it as convenient as possible for you. Email me at DS@TheIllinoisAttorney.com and request a Retainer Agreement and Credit Card Authorization form if you don't have the time to come to my office.
--- Simple Uncontested Divorce - Total Fee Including Costs = $1,500:
A simple uncontested divorce is when both spouses sign the papers and agree to a divorce, the spouse is served by personal service (sheriff or special process server) or the spouse cannot be located and is served by publication and the spouse does not retain an attorney or contest the divorce.
Retainer fee for an simple uncontested divorce is $1,500 payable in three (3) installments - $500 when the case is commenced, $500 when the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is signed and $500 when the case is to be filed. Payments may be made to the attorney by cash, check, money order or credit card. The $1,500 fee paid to the attorney includes all court costs.
If both parties sign the papers in a simple uncontested divorce, the divorce is usually final within 1 to 4 weeks from the date the signed papers are returned to the attorney and the final retainer fee is paid. If there are minor children involved, the parties will have to attend a parenting class and the divorce is usually final within 1 to 4 weeks from the date the attorney receives the "cerltificate of completion" of the parenting class from the parties.
If the spouse is served by personal service or publication and does not retain an attorney or contest the divorce, said divorce is usually final within 2 to 3 months from the date the client signs the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and has paid the full $1,500 attorney's fee. If there are minor children involved, the client must attend a parenting class and the court date will not be assigned until the attorney receives the "certificate of completion" of said class from the client.
--- Uncontested Divorce Where Spouse Has Retained An Attorney:
A disclosure statement, other discovery documents and there are conferences and correspondence usually filed or exchanged when both parties have an attorney or the other spouse is representing himself/herself (acting pro-se). My minimum retainer fee, including costs, is $2,500 when the other spouse has an attorney or has filed the documents in court to represent themselves. Surprising enough it can create more work for an attorney if the spouse is acting pro-se instead of retaining their own attorney because in many cases the other spouse does not know the court procedures and legal requirements. Installment payment plans are available.
--- Contested Divorce:
The attorney's fee on a contested divorce varies and will be discussed during his/her first consultation with the attorney. I would love to set one retainer fee for all contested cases but that is imposible to do. The many variables considered in a contested divorce are: dispute over child custody, child support, property allocation, business valuation, allocation of pension plans, maintenance (formerly called alimony), etc. Installment payment plans are available.
--- Order for Support:
When there is child support involved, an Order for Support is prepared and signed by the judge and usually served upon the non-custodial parent's employer so that child support is deducted directly from his payroll check and the custodial parent does not have to argue, beg and plead for the child support that he or she is legally entitled to. There is no additional charge for the entry of said order with the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage.Make an appointment to come in for a FREE initial office consultation to discuss your case and what this law firm can do for you. Know your legal rights and obligations - Experience counts - Let us represent you and get you what you are legally entitled to.
If a party is seeking child support or a distribution of the marital assets from the other spouse who is presently in a bankruptcy proceeding, said party must have their bankruptcy attorney or another bankruptcy attorney obtain a "certified copy of a court order" lifting the "bankruptcy automatic stay" so that he/she may proceed to obtain an order for child support and a distribution of the marital assets (which are considered assets of the bankruptcy estate). Attorney D. Smith must have a certified copy of said court order before the divorce case is filed. Please note that Attorney D. Smith does not perform any bankruptcy court litigation and therefore is not available to obtain said court order from the bankruptcy court.
In Illinois a divorce action must be filed in the county where one of the spouses resides. In almost all cases if the spouses reside in different counties the spouse who files with the court first determines which county the litigation will take place in. This can be an extreme benefit to one spouse and a great hardship to the other spouse. You can obtain a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage if you don't know where your spouse resides or if he refuses to sign the divorce papers. In makes no difference where you were married - If you live in Illinois you can obtain a divorce in Illinois, unless of course, your spouse has already filed for divorce in another jurisdiction.
PENSION / RETIREMENT PLANS:
An important asset to be divided between the parties in a divorce action is a spouse's pension / retirement plan accounts and deferred compensation accounts which accrued during the marriage between the parties. In many cases this asset can have a higher value than the party's equity in real estate but often a person does not even consider it. The court has the authority to enter a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) or a qualified Illinois domestic relations order (QILDRO) requiring the other spouse's plan administrator to set up an account in the name of the non-employee ex-spouse indicating that those are his/her funds and the employee ex-spouse cannot touch those funds. There is a substantial amount of additional work involved in having a QDRO or QILDRO entered and attorney D. Smith charges a minimum additional fee of $1,000 for each such order to be entered by the court.
GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE:
Grounds relied upon in an action for dissolution of marrige have no relationship with the distribution of the property between spouses and the court may not consider grounds in allocating property between divorcing spouses.
Grounds for Divorce: Irreconcilable Differences (Must be separated for a period in excess of 2 years if parties don't sign or separation period over 6 months if both spouses sign a waiver of 2 year requirement) - Mental Cruelty - Physical Cruelty - Desertion for a period in excess of one year - Spouse gave other spouse venereal disease - Spouse attempted to murder other spouse (if murder had been successful divorce would not be necessary) - spouse has been intoxicated for a period in excess of 2 years - Adultery (holding hands is not sufficient - actual physical sexual intercourse has to be proven) - Felony committed by spouse during period of marriage.
MAINTENANCE / ALIMONY:
There are no percentage guidelines as to how much maintenance (alimony) a spouse may be awarded from the other spouse. The award of maintenance to a spouse is unusual and some of the criteria to determine whether a spouse should be awarded maintenance is: the length of marriage of the parties, the earning potential of the parties, the current earnings of the individual parties, the educational level of the parties, the assets awarded to each party in the divorce decree, the potential earnings from the assets awarded to each party in the divorce decree, the health of each party, etc. Unless provided otherwise in the divorce decree or court order, maintenance terminates upon proper motion and proof at a hearing that the spouse receiving maintenance is residing with another individual on a resident conjugal basis (that is proof of actual physical sexual intercourse. Some judges may say that just because two unrelated parties of the opposite sex are living together does not prove that they are having sex! Also, just because a former spouse may go to a hotel or her friend's home to have sex on occassion is not sufficient in and of itself.) Unless the divorce decress states that the maintenance award is non-modifiable, either party may file a petition in court seeking to reduce or increase the maintenance payments based upon a change in circumstances (eg. payor loses his job or receives a substantial increase in pay).
A default prove-up may occur when the Respondent is served by personal service or publication and fails to file an appearance or responsive pleading within thirty days of service of process. A default prove-up is held pursuant to proper motion and finding that the Respondent is in default.
PROVE-UP BY STIPULATION:
If the parties have an agreement as to ALL issues they may enter into a stipulation to have the case heard as an uncontested matter and have their agreement incorporated into and made a part of the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage.
TIME TO JUDGMENT BEING ENTERED:
If spouse signs papers - The divorce is usually final within 1 to 4 weeks after the signed papers are tendered to the attorney.
If spouse does not sign papers but does not contest the divorce - The divorce is usually final within 2 to 3 months after client signs papers and pays full retainer fee. The Respondent would be found in default and there would be a default prove-up.
TRANSCRIPT OF PROVE-UP:
If there is a court reporter present at the prove-up (uncontested trial) a transcript must be filed with the Court within 28 days of the prove-up.
If there is not a court reporter present at the prove-up (uncontested trial) and the parties have executed a stipulation to hear the case as an uncontested matter the court will waive the filing of a transcript of the prove-up.
A court reporter must be present and transcribe the prove-up (uncontested trial) if the other spouse (Respondent) is in default. A default occurs when the Respondent is served by personal service or publication and fails to file an appearance or file a responsive pleading and the court finds the Respondent in default pursuant to written motion.
Hire an experienced attorney and get it done right the first time and make sure that your rights are protected. Depending on the case and the pleadings involved, an experienced attorney may be able to complete the work twice or three times faster saving the client time and money.
I charge a very fair and reasonable fee for the work that is performed. This law firm takes pride in our work and has the experience to know what should be done and what should not be done. Legal services performed may affect your life for many years to come and it is very important that you obtain the services of a qualified attorney with experience. My legal fees are very competitive.
RETAIN MY LAW FIRM AND BENEFIT FROM MY 31 YEARS OF LEGAL EXPERIENCE - EXPERIENCE COUNTS!
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This website does not provide legal advice but instead is meant to give general information and should not be relied upon without seeking competent legal advice relating to your specific situation. What generally may be true may not apply in your case depending upon the specific facts and circumstances involved. Nothing contained in this website is meant to create an attorney-client relationship and no attorney-client relationship is created until a written retainer agreement is executed by the attorney and client and a retainer fee is paid to the attorney.