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Family Law

Whether you are celebrating the joy of welcoming a newly adopted child into your family or dealing with the stress of a strained relationship, the advice and counsel of an attorney experienced in family law issues will give you the information you need to make the decisions that are right for you. The Law Office of Nicole M. Bono, P.C. accepts cases dealing with the following family law issues.

Adoption

The Law Office of Nicole M. Bono, P.C. understands that the adoption process can be very complex and confusing and we are here to guide families through that process. We can help facilitate adoptions for step-parents, grandparents, and other related parties. We can also assist clients in uncontested adoption matters.

Alimony/Spousal Maintenance

Spousal Maintenance (formerly known as alimony) is used to described payments made from one spouse to another upon divorce or separation, to maintain the lifestyle enjoyed during the course of the marriage. Typically these payments are ordered when one spouse has a significantly higher earning potential than the other. Calculating the amount of maintenance and the term for which it will be paid can be very complex and will vary depending on the circumstances in each individual case. It is imperative to have the guidance of an experienced spousal support attorney when establishing the amount of maintenance to be paid or received. The Law Office of Nicole M. Bono, P.C. can help in both establishing and modifying maintenance orders when appropriate.

Child Custody and Visitation

The most contentious part of any divorce case usually centers around issues concerning the children of the parties. We take special care to educate clients on the different types of custodial arrangements that are available to them. We also encourage and work closely with clients to help them develop parenting schedules that are in the best interests of the children involved. We subscribe to the theory that parties are more likely to abide by a fair and well thought out parenting agreement; ultimately this will result in less time spent in court litigating post-decree issues.

Sole Custody

Sole Custody refers to a situation wherein one parent has custody of the minor children subject to the visitation rights of the other parent. These visitation rights can include a specific schedule like every other weekend from Friday evening to Sunday evening and one day during the week; or it can be more open ended to allow for open and liberal visitation as the parties agree. Typically a visitation schedule will also make provisions for holiday visitation. The custodial parent will be responsible for making both the day to day and “major” decisions regarding the child’s upbringing without the necessity of obtaining approval of those decisions from the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent would generally be required to contribute to the financial support of the child by the payment of child support.

Joint Custody

Joint Custody refers to a situation where each parent represents to the court that they are able to put their own personal differences aside and come together to discuss issues related to the children. It assumes that the parties can communicate effectively with each other in determining what is in their child’s best interests. It also requires the parties to mediate disputed matters before seeking relief from the court. Generally joint custody affords the non-residential parent the maximum ability to participate in decisions related to the child’s upbringing. The visitation schedule or parenting schedule may look similar to the visitation schedule set forth in a sole custody situation or it may provide for much more liberal visitation depending on the wants and needs of the child and parents. The non-residential parent would generally be required to contribute to the financial support of the child by paying child support.

Child Support

Child Support is determined by statute. The statutory guidelines specify that child support for one child shall be set at 20% of the payor’s properly calculated net income. Support for two children shall be set at 28%; three children 32% and so on. In addition to child support, the parties can also be required to contribute to additional expenses of the child(ren) such as health insurance, medical expenses, day care, and other activities. Child support is generally payable until the child reaches the age of eighteen (18) or graduates from high school, whichever is later. Child support is modifiable based on certain circumstances, but is generally only modifiable as to amounts accruing after a Petition for Modification has been filed.

Divorce

Whether you are seeking information in contemplation of a divorce, or you have already been served with a divorce petition by your spouse, the Law Office of Nicole M. Bono, P.C. is here to help guide you through the divorce process and protect your rights. We offer a no cost consultation where you can meet with an attorney experienced in handling divorce matters. We will listen to your concerns and attempt to provide you with answers to your questions while gathering information to assess your particular case in order to provide you with reasonable possible outcomes based on Illinois law.

The Law Office of Nicole M. Bono, P.C. can assist you with both contested and uncontested divorce matters.

Mediation

In many instances, parties can benefit from the use of a qualified attorney to help mediate disputes with regard to specific family law issues like child custody or support. In some circumstances parties are able to resolve all issues of the divorce through mediation rather than traditional divorce litigation. The Law Office of Nicole M. Bono, P.C. is available to assist parties in mediating family law matters.

Paternity

We have experience representing both mothers and fathers in establishing paternity. Paternity can be established either by agreement of the parties or through DNA testing or other judicial means. Once paternity has been conclusively determined, other issues such as custody, support, and visitation can be addressed. Paternity can also be used to establish inheritance rights of the child and to give the father the ability to obtain certain legal documents on behalf of the child.

Post Decree Matters

Sometimes issues may arise after a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage has been entered; that require further action by the court. As a whole, these matters are referred to as "Post Decree" or "Post Judgment" matters. Many times these issues will center around one party’s failure to abide by the terms of the Judgment for one reason or another. Other times the basis for the post decree motion will be to modify support or custody provisions contained in the Judgement for Dissolution. What ever the circumstance may be, we represent parties in bringing and defending post decree motions.