Divorce Lawyers in Elmhurst, Illinois
Chicago Area Lawyers with Access to Child Custody Evaluators and Other Professionals
While some divorces may require only the services of an experienced divorce attorney, others can require the services of additional professionals, whether for the actual divorce or during child custody proceedings. It is important that your divorce attorney have the necessary resources to enable you to achieve the very best outcome for your specific circumstances. The Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC attorneys have those resources and networks and use them to better aid their clients. The professionals you may require during your divorce include the following:
Child Custody Evaluators [604(b)s and 604.5s]
Child custody evaluators can be necessary when parents are simply unable to agree on custody or visitation plans, now called the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois. During a child custody evaluation, a mental health expert will evaluate the entire family, making recommendations to the judge regarding a parenting plan or a parenting time schedule which serves the best interests of the child or children. As opposed to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods where the parents are urged to develop their own parenting plan and reach their own agreements regarding parental responsibilities, the evaluator will gather information about the family dynamics and make recommendations based on that information. Parental interviews, interviews with the child, observations of the child with both parents and contact with teachers, pediatricians, therapists, etc. will be used to generate the final report.
According to Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/604), a court-ordered evaluation of child's best interest may be considered in a divorce proceeding. The court-appointed witness's report is often automatically entered into evidence in the event of a trial, and thus their findings carry considerable weight in a divorce or custody case. Parties in a divorce trial can also request a 604.5 evaluation to personally select their own court witness. It is worth noting; however, the party requesting the 604.5 evaluation is responsible for the fees associated with the witness.
When one or both spouses own a business—or a part of a business—that ownership may be considered “property” which must be included in the division of assets. In order to include the business in a high net worth divorce division, a value must be placed on it. Arriving at an accurate value for a business will require such professionals as appraisers and those experienced in business operations to be utilized. A business valuator usually will also conduct a management interview and an onsite walk through of the business. To achieve an accurate business valuation, it is necessary to know what the business owes and owns as well as the regular income of the business. The profitability of the business is determined by subtracting the business expenses from its income.
Children and Family Therapists
High conflict couples can be helped through the divorce with the help of children and family therapists. It is important that divorcing couples separate their marital hostilities from their ongoing parental responsibilities, and many times it takes counseling to achieve this goal. During this time of conflict, many therapists will attempt to connect the parents positively through the needs of the children. Because cooperative co-parenting is so important, post-divorce family therapy may be recommended for some families.
Family therapy is can be beneficial in reducing post-divorce hostility between parents. Children who live in the midst of such hostility are at a much greater risk of emotional damage than children whose parents make every effort to put their children’s needs ahead of their own.
In some cases, if a child was appointed a representative of the court (also known as a Guardian ad Litem) or a 604(b) has been introduced in your divorce proceedings, he or she may ask you to sign a release to speak to your therapist.
Forensic Accountants and Appraisers
Forensic accountants may be necessary for high-net-worth divorces as well as in divorces in which one spouse is suspected of hiding assets (dissipation). The attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC recognize that in cases where one spouse is the single owner of a business, the opportunity to manipulate income or hide assets is virtually unlimited. A forensic accountant can investigate a wide array of financial documentation and has the skills of a CPA coupled with the necessary financial investigation tools. Forensic accounts are called upon in divorce cases because a divorce cannot be resolved without proper asset values, even if the assets have been negotiated or mediated to a resolution. Forensic accountants often testify in court during a divorce and picking the right one can be critical in making your case.
Appraisers for residential and commercial property can also be consulted in divorce matters. The best way to find out the value of your property is through a real estate appraiser who will give you and your ex-spouse an unbiased valuation that will hold up in court. Our attorneys have developed trusted relationships with professional real estate appraisers to help you through the tedious process of dividing your property.
How Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC Can Help
The goal of the attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC is to provide professional excellence to every client. High asset cases in particular may require the utilization of additional professionals who can be crucial to the discovery of hidden assets or to an accurate determination of personal or business income. Our attorneys consistently provide aggressive representation when warranted while always being prepared to negotiate and mediate when appropriate and has the necessary professional resources for those who require them. Contact Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC immediately.