Areas of Divorce Law Practice

Divorce litigation

At our family law firm we try to avoid litigation and resolve issues through mediation and negotiation early on in the proceeding. Nonetheless, despite our efforts, much of our work is devoted to divorce litigation. Divorce litigation occurs when the parties cannot reach an agreement on their own or the parties’ attorneys have been unsuccessful at negotiating an agreement. In this situation the parties must use the judicial process to obtain relief from the court. Litigation may include filing custody motions, establishing temporary or permanent child support or spousal maintenance, conducting financial discovery, sending subpoenas to witnesses, holding settlement conferences (to settle your case outside of court), or in the most extreme scenarios, taking a case to trial. We will discuss with you each step of the process so that you understand the progress of your case. Learn More –>

Child-custody and visitation

Child Custody & Visitation litigation is an ever-evolving landscape in Illinois, and it is important for you to engage an attorney that is at the forefront of these changes. Since the beginning of 2016, Illinois has moved away from the the terms “child-custody” and “visitation” in it’s laws – what was once defined as “child-custody” is now referred to as “distribution of parental responsibilities” and what was once called “visitation” is now referred to as “parenting time.” Parental responsibilities define which parent has the decision-making power over any or all of the following: educational decisions, extracurricular activities, religion, major medical decisions, and more. The distribution of these responsibilities can vary greatly, per the circumstances of your case, and retaining an attorney that is well educated on these changes, and equipped to safeguard the best interests of your children is of the utmost importance. If a resolution is not reached at a court-mandated mediation session, the court may appoint a children’s representatives and the parties will have to begin the process of preparing for trial. Regardless of what path your case takes, we will work with you to reach a resolution that is in the best interests of your children. Learn More –>


Obtaining a fair child support judgement on behalf of all parties involved is extremely important in the overall outcome of your case. Though orders can be modified post-decree, there can be time restrictions in place that can prevent you from obtaining an adjustment to your case’s support ruling for a set period of time – usually, a minimum of two years. In most Illinois divorce cases involving minor children, child-support is pre-determined and calculated by a statutory formula (750 ILCS 5/505). However, deviations from this formula may be necessary depending on the facts of your case. Outside of the figures established in the Illinois Statute, other considerations are given when determining the amount of income for purposes child-support and, on occasion, which parent should receive support from the other. To make sure your case comes with a fair support calculation, it is important for you to work with an attorney that has worked extensively within the confines of this new statute – and Fahnert Family Law has done just that. Learn More –>

Spousal Maintenance

Once referred to as “alimony”, Spousal Maintenance in Illinois is similar to Child Support, in that its applicability, amount, and length are all established and calculated specifically pursuant to the rules of a pre-defined statute (750 ILCS 5/504). The purpose of spousal maintenance is to allow a lower earning spouse to maintain a similar standard of living, post divorce, that they previously enjoyed during the marriage. Though not all divorce cases will result in one spouse receiving alimony, it is important to make sure your attorney is well versed on these statutes, as a fair spousal maintenance judgement can vastly alter the financial result of your divorce case, for better or for worse. Fahnert Family Law’s attorneys are highly experienced experts in this relatively new portion of the Illinois Dissolution of Marriage Act, and will guide you to the most fair spousal maintenance result possible. Learn More –>

Divorce mediation

If two parties are far away on the issues but exhibiting a willingness to compromise, a skilled divorce mediator may help your case. A divorce mediator is an unbiased third party – a specially trained attorney, unaffiliated with any other attorneys in the case, whose job is to help you and your spouse reach a mutually acceptable resolution to any disagreement involving your divorce or parentage case. We have several trained mediators on our staff at Fahnert Family Law, and if we were previously uninvolved in your case, we may be able to help you and your spouse reach an agreement. Learn More –>

Collaborative divorce

Collaborative divorce are divorces in which the parties, the attorneys, and the experts assisting the divorcing parties are given a financial incentive to settle the divorce by agreement rather than litigating. This is achieved by everyone agreeing that if the parties can not resolve their differences and the case needs to be litigated, the attorneys will withdraw their representation of the parties and the experts will not participate in the litigation. Collaborative divorce can be very formal, or informal in nature, with the ultimate goal being a less adversary process. Our Chicago Divorce Lawyers at Fahnert Family Law specialize in the process of collaborative divorce, and we would be thrilled to discuss the concept with you in detail. Learn More –>

Uncontested divorce

If you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement on all matters related to your divorce (division of assets, child-support, maintenance, parenting time, etc.) then you case may be best completed by engaging in an Uncontested Divorce. An uncontested divorce is a case in which both parties have reached an agreement on all matters before filing for dissolution of marriage, and merely need to complete the paperwork to finalize the process. Uncontested divorces are, obviously, the best way to get divorced. If you believe that you and your spouse may be able reach an agreement on all matters related to your divorce case, contact Fahnert Family Law today to begin the process today!. Learn More –>

Prenuptial Agreements

At Fahnert Family Law, we have an extremely high level of attention given to Pre-Nuptual Agreements. A Prenuptial Agreement, or “prenup”, supersedes divorce law, and outlines the terms of your future divorce settlement, should you and your spouse-to-be decide to later separate. A well drafted Prenup has the ability to provide for you in the case of a divorce – badly drafted prenup has the potential to destroy your future. At Fahnert Family Law, we will take the utmost care to ensure that it your prenup is tailored to your specific needs, and that your agreement is both fair and bulletproof. Learn More –>

Divorce appeals

A final divorce judgment may be appealed within 30 days of its entry. If you feel that the trial court ruled contrary to the law, and if you are considering an appeal, it is extremely important to contact an appellate lawyer as soon as possible after the entry of the judgment. Divorce appeals are unusually difficult in that the statutes often give great discretion to the judges in how they apply the law to a particular case and the weight that they give the evidence presented by the parties.Fahnert Family Law has extensive experience in dealing with the appellate court system in Illinois, and has even won a supervisory judgement from the Illinois Supreme Court. Let us give your appeal case the same consideration and expertise it deserves. Learn More –>