The Law Offices of Brian M. Radke
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Areas of Practice
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FAMILY LAW

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CIVIL LITIGATION

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REAL ESTATE

Office Locations

Des Plaines

1585 Ellinwood Street, Suite #105
Des Plaines, IL 60016

Libertyville (by appointment)

1641 N. Milwaukee Ave. Suite 12
Libertyville, IL 60048

Chicago (by appointment)

221 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 3315
Chicago, IL 60601

Morton Grove (by appointment)

9225 N. Waukegan Road
Morton Grove, IL 60053

QUESTIONS

COMMON ILLINOIS DIVORCE QUESTIONS

Can we use one attorney?

No. Illinois law prohibits one attorney from representing both parties in a divorce case. If the case is uncontested, one lawyer can be used to prepare the paperwork, but the lawyer represents only the spouse that hires them. If your spouse says that his or her attorney can represent both you, you must understand that the lawyer only represents the spouse. Even if you do not hire an attorney, you should seek a consultation before signing any paperwork.

Should I file first?

Yes, there are many advantages to filing first. When a Petition is filed, it creates a mark in time that the courts recognize that the marriage has broken down. It can be important if any assets are moved around or hidden. Filing first may help you psychologically. If your case goes to trial your lawyer also gets to present your case first. Although it will not automatically get you a better outcome, it has its advantages. Call our office today if you are contemplating Divorce, you will be glad you did.

I was served with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. What happens if I do nothing?

If you ignore the Petition, the case will proceed without your participation. Your spouse will likely obtain a Judgment by Default and you will have no say in the matter. You will not like the outcome and it will be nearly impossible to reverse. If your spouse has filed for Divorce, call our office immediately.

How long will my case take?

Like the answer to most legal questions… it depends. There are many factors that must be considered. A truly uncontested case when both parties are organized can be finished in days or weeks. Other cases take longer. Contested cases can take months and even years to reach a final resolution.

How much will my case cost?

Again... It depends. At the start of your case, your lawyer can only guess how much your case will cost. Simple uncontested cases can usually be resolved for less than $1000. However, the more complex the case, the more it will cost. If the case involves extensive negotiation and litigation it can get costly.

How can I keep my costs down?

Help your lawyer and be a good client. Gather records and documents and get them to us promptly and in an organized way. The less time your attorney needs to review and organize your material, the less it will cost you. All work that you make easier for your lawyer will save you money. Make a list of things to talk about before your phone calls. One call resolving several issues is better than several calls regarding one issue. Do not bring your lawyer into emotional contests with your spouse. Rely on your therapist, family, and friends when you need to unload emotional matters. You can trust your attorney to listen to your concerns, but you are paying by the hour.

How long do we have to be separated before we file?

You do not have to be separated before your file for divorce. In fact, you can live in the same residence until the divorce is final or even after the divorce. Separation, in a legal sense, means not acting as Husband and Wife. Call our office today to discuss exactly what this means and how it applies to your case.

Can I move out of the house?

You can move out of the house at any time. However, if you have children and hope to obtain custody or joint custody, the better plan is to stay in the home. Call us today for specific advice.

Can I take half the money out of the bank accounts?

You can use your money to support yourself and your children. Just be reasonable. Use you money in the same manner you did during the marriage. If you waste or hide marital money, your spouse may have a claim for reimbursement.

Can I keep using the credit cards?

Yes, and again be reasonable. Use the credit cards for necessities and utilities. Do not go running up the cards thinking the debt will be equally divided. If a Judge thinks you have acted improperly, you could get stuck with all the debt.

Can I change the locks?

Do not change the locks unless you have a court order. Your spouse is entitled to have access to home and actions like this can come back to bite you. If you are concerned about your safety, call our office immediately to discuss your legal options.

When can I start dating other people?

In Illinois, your spouse can present evidence about any affairs you had. This is the case even if the new relationship began after the case was filed or after you separated. A new relationship can invite claims of dissipation from the spouse and pressure from the new partner to end the case regardless if the terms are in your best interests. It is better to wait until your case is concluded.

Can my spouse use evidence of my visits to therapy/counseling?

No. Illinois law prohibits such evidence unless you introduce it. Many people have problems and often times, failing to seek treatment can be more damaging. Get the help you need, when you need it.

Can I bring a friend or relative for support when I meet with my attorney?

Yes. Many attorneys will tell you that you need to meet alone in order to protect the attorney-client privilege. However, a good attorney will be able to evaluate your case without destroying the attorney-client privilege.