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Woodridge Family Law and Estate Attorneys

Woodridge attorneys for business contracts, child custody, and probate

Lawyers for Divorce, Child Custody, Guardianship and Wills in Woodridge, IL

At SBK Law Group, our focus is on you and what is most important to you. Clients come to us facing challenges: a complex divorce, a child custody dispute, the death of a loved one, or the problems and difficulties that can arise when caring for a family member who can no longer take care of themselves. We understand that when facing problems like these, you need experienced counsel who is compassionate and who is capable of managing your legal needs, alleviating your stress, sharing your burden, and offering solutions. As family law, probate, and business attorneys, we understand our clients' needs in these highly personal and often interrelated areas of law. We know that frequently, the last thing you want to deal with at a difficult life moment is a lawsuit. We consider it our mission to guide you through your matter (whether that be in a guardianship, a decedent's estate, co-parenting, or a divorce) with a sensible and comprehensive approach to your matter. We listen to what is important to you and use that as our touchstone in the way we approach you and your legal matter. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach – and we know it. You deserve an attorney who understands you and who works hard to protect your legal rights and the rights of your loved ones but who will not lose sight of your goals or prolong the legal process.

At the other end of our practice, we work with families anticipating their future legal needs and develop plans to carry out their wishes for the future. SBK can help you to craft the estate plan, trust, parenting plan, business succession plan, and pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement you need. This type of advanced planning complements our overall philosophy of practicality and value and resolving issues for you and your family. For instance, with proper drafting, an estate plan can accomplish several goals at once: to provide for loved ones in a manner according to your wishes, to make managing your affairs as easy as possible on your family, to avoid probate, to plan for your care and decision-making in the event of physical or mental incapacity, and to structure a plan that does the utmost to ensure family relationships are preserved and not needlessly strained or, even worse, terminated, in the process of carrying out your wishes. Careful planning is just as important when you are dealing with parenting issues. A well contemplated parenting plan can foster and support positive co-parenting relationships and minimize the need for future litigation. At SBK Law Group, we think that a good plan does not just happen – it must be carefully crafted. This is best achieved when the attorney and client are open and honest with each other and focus on the little details so that the end result is the best possible outcome for the client.

With more than 25 years of combined experience, the team of attorneys at SBK Law Group can assist you in resolving your legal issues. We are here to protect your interests and help you reach a positive outcome to your situation. We provide legal help in the following practice areas:

Family Law

  • Divorce and Legal Separation - The process of getting divorced in Illinois can be complex and time consuming. When deciding to divorce your spouse or significant other, we understand that you are essentially seeking to undo your entire life up to that point. This can be very costly for someone, both emotionally and financially. The complexity and costs only increase if you have minor children, a house, bank accounts, or even credit card bills. There is not one standard cookie cutter divorce. The best divorce settlement for you is the one that best fits your needs and wants. You need an attorney that understands this and has the tools and skills to help you accomplish this.
  • Property Division - Illinois law states that marital property (except in a few specific circumstances where the law defines what is non-marital property) includes any assets that are acquired after the parties are married. A husband's assets are the wife's assets, and vice versa. Marital property can include real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, coin collections, sports memorabilia, or even vehicles. With so many different types of assets, it is complex and very nuanced to decide the most appropriate way to divide them. We have experience in analyzing and dividing significant and substantial marital property. With so many different scenarios to consider, you need someone who is well versed in determining the best way to equitably award each party their fair share of assets.
  • Spousal Support/Maintenance (formerly known as alimony) - Currently, Illinois law states that even though you are divorcing, you are entitled to maintain the same standard of living as if the marriage had never ended. One way to achieve these is by seeking maintenance (spousal support) from your partner. However, it is not as simple as it sounds. First, you have to convince the court that maintenance is appropriate in your particular case. There are more than 10 factors the courts can consider in determining this. Once it is determined that maintenance is or is not appropriate in your given case, there are additional considerations the Judge can weigh. How long should maintenance be for? Is it terminable at the end of this time period, or can it be extended for another term? We are well versed in all these scenarios. Contact us so that we can work with you to get you the maintenance the law says you may be entitled to.
  • Debt Allocation - Just as married couples accumulate assets from the day they are married, so too do debts and liabilities accumulate. An equitable allocation of debts is just as crucial to divorcing couples as determining who gets what assets. Property division cannot be completed without taking into account marital debts. Allow us to use our experience to ensure that you are only being assigned your reasonable share of marital debt.
  • Allocation of Parental Responsibilities/Drafting of Parenting Plans - Illinois laws mandate that disputes over children be settled by the parties entering into an Allocation Judgment (a formal written plan that sets out who has authority to make what decisions for the children and the schedule to be employed for parents to exercise their parenting time). No matter how you feel about your spouse, most people want what is best for their children. However, in order to make decisions in the best interests of your children and satisfy the requirements of an Allocation Judgment, you need to cooperate with the child's other parent to come to an agreement. This can be made easier or harder, depending upon how your parenting plan is drafted. We will listen to your concerns and draft an Allocation Judgment with a parenting plan that is uniquely tailored for your particular case.
  • Child Support - Under the laws of Illinois, it is the obligation of both parents to support the child. The question often becomes then: what percentage is each parent responsible for? Illinois recently switched to an income shares model. Under this model, parents pay for expenses in proportion to the income they earn. This is not as straightforward as it seems, however. There are many variables that can dramatically affect how child support is calculated, and they can be very complex for someone who is not used to dealing with these cases. We can assist you with these calculations. Allow us to use our experience and knowledge of Illinois child support laws so child support calculations can be done in a way that is beneficial to your case. Both parents are required to provide financial support for their children, and we can ensure that parents' incomes, children's needs, and other factors are considered when determining the amount of support payments.
  • Modifications/Changes to Divorce Settlements - A settlement agreement to resolve a divorce often reflects what is in the client's best interests at the time it is entered. What made the most sense for you then may not make the most sense 5, 10, or even 15 years after a settlement was reached. Changes to jobs, schools, and health may all necessitate that a change needs to be made to your settlement. Illinois law allows for changes to divorce settlements, provided you can show the court there has been significant changes in these circumstances since you entered into this agreement. Let us help you define and clarify these changes to your life so that the Court can make the appropriate modifications to your settlement terms.

Trusts, Probate, and Guardianship

  • Probate – Following the death of a loved one, SBK Law Group is here to help. We provide counsel from the very start. We lead you through the process of managing your loved one's final affairs, from determining whether probate is necessary in Illinois to educating and assisting executors, trustees, and personal representatives of decedent's estates with the process of carrying out a person's last wishes after their death and distributing their assets according to their will or trust. We also assist family members with probate of the estate of someone who died without having a last will and testament based on Illinois' rules of descent and distribution.
  • Estate/Trust Administration – Estate administration is the process of collecting a deceased person's assets, managing them according to the governing rules (be it Illinois law or a private trust instrument), and distributing to those who inherit. Contact us to set you on the right course to understanding your rights and responsibilities in proper estate and trust administration.
  • Guardianship – Guardianship is a serious undertaking. It involves petitioning the court to appoint you (or someone else) to be legally responsible for a minor child or a disabled adult's person or finances. We help clients understand this process. We educate you on what guardianship can and cannot do to meet the needs of your disabled loved one. We explore with you whether a complete (plenary) or partial (limited) guardianship is appropriate. We help you determine who is best to serve as the guardian. Guardianship cases can be straightforward, but when a disabled person is fighting the guardianship, or family members are battling over who gets appointed as guardian, these matters can quickly become quite complex. Whether your guardianship needs are straightforward or complex, you need the benefit of an experienced attorney to guide you through the court process and advise you.
  • Litigation – We represent clients in a variety of probate and trust related litigation, such as contested guardianship, restoration, will contests, probate claims, removal actions, power of attorney issues, trust disputes, and much more. We assist people defending against guardianship actions and those seeking to restore their rights regain control and end guardianship. When a guardian or power of attorney is not looking out for your loved one's best interests, or when a will is suspect, we can help you understand your options and assert your rights.

Estate Planning

  • Planning – Nearly everyone can benefit from an estate plan. Estate plans are not one-size-fits-all. They should not be cost-prohibitive, and a good estate plan need only be as complex as your planning goals. We can help you create a plan for you, your assets and your family to ensure that your wishes are carried out, not only to ensure that your property is distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones and minor children are provided for after your death, but also to ensure that you are provided for and your wishes are carried out in the event of your incapacity.
  • Wills - We can help you create a last will and testament that describes how your property should be distributed to your heirs and states your wishes regarding guardianship of your minor children.
  • Trusts - Trusts can be a straightforward and effective means of avoiding probate and of ensuring that your wishes are carried out in the event of your death or incapacity. While trusts often are designed to distribute outright to beneficiaries after the grantor's (i.e. – the trustmaker's) death, trusts are also a valuable tool when crafting an estate plan that benefits loved ones when outright gifts are less than ideal. For instance, a trust can distribute to beneficiaries only at certain ages, in certain amounts, or for certain purposes. Trusts are highly customizable to your goals and a great tool for many clients, with the most common being revocable living trusts. We can assist in crafting a trust that just right for you.
  • Power of attorney - We can help you create a legal agreement naming someone who can make decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Powers of attorney are an extremely important and economical way to make legal arrangements for how you and your assets will be managed in the event you become unable to do so.
  • Other Instruments – Estate planning is not simply limited to wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. Our toolkit of services offers many other instruments to help you plan for your future and what matters most to you, such as Third-Party Special Needs Trusts, legal documents to ensure your wishes for end of life care, disposition of your final remains, transfer on death deeds, and powers of attorney for special needs young adults.

Business Law

  • Business formation - Most people start a business because they have a passion for something they do well, and they figure they might as well get paid for it. However, before you decide to actually take that proverbial leap, you should have a better understanding of the legal issues you may be facing. You need help determining what type of corporate structure is most appropriate for your business, you need to know if you need any licenses, and you also need all of your initial corporate paperwork. If your business is not structured correctly, you may be exposing yourself to unnecessary legal risk. Owning your own business can be both simultaneously rewarding and terrifying at the same time. Allow our attorneys to use their knowledge and expertise in this area so that you can have less terrifying moments and more rewarding ones.
  • Contract Review - Contracts seemingly govern every facet of our lives. Some are very simple and straightforward; some are very complex or poorly written. Either way, if you are not careful to know what you are signing, you could be signing away more of your rights than you intended. Our attorneys will review your contract and advise you of the meanings of specific terms and provisions so you have a clearer understanding of what you may be choosing to enter into. If you want, our attorneys would be happy to revise your contract or negotiate on your behalf so your contract becomes more favorable to you.
  • Business Litigation – Sometimes, no matter how hard each side tries, there is simply no way of resolving a dispute without going to court and filing a lawsuit. When you are faced with that situation, you want to have an attorney in your corner who is willing to fight for you and who is well versed with all phases of a lawsuit. SBK's attorneys are just as comfortable resolving a matter out of court as they are of handling it in court. Not all attorneys have the skills or desire to represent you in court—ours do.

Contact Our Woodridge Divorce, Probate, Business, and Estate Lawyers

Normally, when you look to retain an attorney, you are asking them to help you solve one problem in your life. However, when you are in need of a family law or estate attorney, it is often different. We understand that when someone is seeking to hire us, they are often facing legal issues that affect every part of their life.

Our focus at SBK Law Group is to take some of the stress over the uncertainty off your hands. We understand that this is a difficult time in your life, and the last thing you want to be doing is dealing with an attorney, let alone the legal system. We pledge to work with you to determine the best approach and strategy to resolving your case in the most efficient manner we can, while still protecting your rights.

Because we always have our clients' best interests at heart, you can rest assured that we take the same approach to other legal issues we assist you with.

At SBK Law roup, we provide legal help to those in Woodridge and the surrounding areas, and we will work closely with you to resolve your legal issues and meet your needs. Contact our office today at 630-427-4407.

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