Parentage / Paternity
Our Practice Areas
You need experienced attorneys who tailor their approach for each case. Because no two cases are the same, the attorneys at Gray & Gray focus on you, your needs, and your case. While the best result in family law cases is often a negotiated settlement, we know this isn’t always possible. We are here to help you navigate the emotions of your case while helping you make informed, educated decisions.
“Family Law” is a broad term that encompasses a lot of things, including the initial divorce (as the result of a marriage or civil union, including same-sex couples), post-divorce issues (including enforcement and modification of court orders), parentage and paternity (where parties have a child but were never married), and all matters related to the family unit. Whether your case involves your family, your marriage, your assets, your children, or any other family law matter, our attorneys have the experience and depth of knowledge to guide you and provide practical advice that actually matters. We set the standard, and we will help you through this difficult time in your life.
Gray & Gray also provides services in the areas of wills/estates, probate, auto accidents, personal injuries, and civil litigation.
Gray&Gray: Custody/Child Related Issues (Non-Financial)
Custody (n/k/a “Allocation of Parental Responsibilities”) addresses the manner in which decisions for the children will be made, such as where the child will attend school, what doctors the child will seek, the religion in which the child will be raised, and things of this nature. Visitation (n/k/a “Allocation of Parenting Time”) addresses how much time the child will spend will each parent. “Joint custody” and “sole custody” are no longer terms used in Illinois law; parents no longer have “visitation” with their children, they have parenting time.
A mother and father may choose to divorce once another; their children have no say in this decision. Parents, however, must still consider the needs and interests of their children in both the immediate future and in the long-term. Contested cases involving children are emotional, and those emotions are amplified when the divorce is less than amicable. It is imperative that you have an experienced attorney who is able to fight on your behalf when it comes to your children in order to serve the children’s best interests.
Gray & Gray attorneys will help you determine what is in your children’s best interests and understand what that means as it relates to Illinois law. Parents are not always able to put aside the animosity they have towards one another, and it is often the children that suffer as they are put in the middle. That is not the answer. We will help you navigate a contested custody case while simultaneously working towards an amicable resolution through mediation and negotiation. If settlement is ultimately not an option, we are prepared to litigate on your behalf and will do so.
We can also help you after the final judgment is entered. Anything having to do with your child can be modified under certain circumstances, such as parenting time, holiday schedules, decision-making authority, and other matters involving your child.
Gray&Gray: Child Support & Related Financial Issues
Parents also need to address financial matters which involve the children, such as child support and payment of expenses. The court will look at the parties’ incomes and the parenting time allocated to each parent, among other things. Gray and Gray attorneys bring extensive knowledge and experience to each case, and we know how to determine a person’s income whether that person is a W-2 wage earner, self-employed, or an owner of a business trying to hide income. Income, for child support purposes, is income from all sources and we will help you find it.
As of July 1, 2017, Illinois follows the “Income Shares” method when calculating child support. Under this method, the incomes of the parents are combined and a determination is made as to what the parents would spend raising those children. Those costs are then allocated between the parents taking into count the amount of time the children spend with each parent. A determination must also be made as to how other expenses will be paid, such as expenses for education, health care, dental and optical care, extracurricular activities, child care, etc.).
In most cases, child support payments end when the child turns 18 or graduates from high school (whichever last occurs), but not beyond a child’s 19th birthday. However, special circumstances may dictate that payments continue such as a child’s disability or delayed graduation from high school.
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Parentage (a/k/a “paternity”) cases involve couples who are not married but share a child together. The law is the same relative to child-related issues regardless of whether you were married. The court must still determine what will serve the best interests of the children in terms of decisions made on their behalf and the amount of time they spend with each parent.
The court must also address financial issues in parentage cases, including child support, health insurance coverage and payment of health expenses, extracurricular activities and payment of those expenses, child care and payment of those expenses, college education expenses, and all other financial matters relative to the children.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your trial and the judge’s decisions, you can appeal your case. Regardless of how prepared and skilled your trial attorney was, you may still not like the result. A trial judge can make a mistake or commit an error. Appeals can address all issues presented to the trial court during the trial, whether those issues involve your children, support, property division, etc.
As a longtime member of the Appellate Lawyers Association, Attorney Paulette Gray is an experienced appellate attorney who can discuss your options with you. Again, timing is of the essence when considering an appeal.
The attorneys at Gray & Gray, LLC fully understand the emotional and financial toll a divorce can take on a family. We will answer your questions and educate you to help you make an informed, well-reasoned decision.
815 893 0257 | Call today for a FREE Consultation
Gray&Gray Attorneys at Law
40 Brink Street, Suite 103
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
ph: 815 893 0257
Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm