Barrington Divorce and Separation Attorney

Family Law Attorneys in Barrington, IL

Going through a divorce is often a tough experience that can affect your personal life and finances, both now and in the future. At Manassa Law P.C., our Barrington divorce and separation attorneys understand what you’re going through and are here to give you the dedicated legal help you need to protect your rights.

Whether you’re dealing with an uncontested divorce where you and your spouse agree on the important issues or a contested divorce where you may disagree about property division, alimony, child custody, support, or other matters, we’ve got the training, experience, and skills to help you during this time.

Barrington Divorce & Separation Guide

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How Can an Experienced Family Law Attorney From Our Law Firm Help?


With offices in Barrington and Crystal Lake, Illinois, the law firm of Manassa Law P.C. provides representation in the following areas of family law:

  • Divorce: We focus our practice on providing our clients with practical advice and sound legal solutions reached through skilled negotiation and renowned trial representation.
  • Enforcement or modification of divorce judgments: Even the most thorough and well-thought-out divorce decrees may need to be modified later as a result of changing circumstances.
  • The divorce process: We guide clients through every step of filing for divorce, protecting their rights, finances, relationships, and futures.
  • Fathers’ rights: Combining respectful legal counsel with assertive advocacy, we represent fathers in all areas of divorce and family law.
  • Military divorce: Our Barrington divorce lawyers provide prompt and professional representation to military personnel and their families in Illinois and overseas.
  • Annulments: Under Illinois law, an annulment requires a declaration of invalidity of a marriage. The court determines the marriage is not valid and will not be recognized by the state.
  • Divorce mediation: Our mission is to facilitate mutually beneficial resolutions while ensuring that the ultimate agreement is in line with our client’s best interests.
  • Collaborative divorce: While it may not work in every situation, you may want to explore the option of collaborative divorce before choosing how to achieve your goals.
  • Same-sex partnerships: Illinois law and federal law differ in regard to civil unions, sometimes referred to as domestic partnerships or same-sex partnerships.
  • Legal separation: Some couples prefer legal separation to divorce due to religious beliefs or for tax or insurance reasons.
  • Prenuptial agreements: We help couples draft legally sound and effective prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
  • Parentage: We represent both men and women throughout Illinois who are interested in paternity determination or are involved in parentage disputes.
  • Domestic violence: We provide strong, respectful, and tenacious advocacy on behalf of those seeking protection from domestic violence and those who are wrongfully charged.
  • Estate planning: After a divorce, especially a high net-worth divorce, you will need to change your estate planning documents to ensure they are up to date. We can help you review, revise, and draft wills, trusts, and other key documents.

Understanding the legal process of divorce before you begin can help you avoid common pitfalls that often occur during a divorce. Each state has its own requirements for filing for divorce, and Illinois is no different.

Illinois Is a No-Fault Divorce State

Like most states, Illinois does not require one person to prove the other is at fault to be granted a divorce. This means that neither person has to cause the breakdown of the marriage. It allows couples who decide to go their separate ways to file for divorce without blaming anyone for causing the divorce.

Illinois uses the standard of irreconcilable differences. For most people, this simply means that marriage is no longer best for the people involved because the marriage has broken down and cannot be repaired.

How Does the Divorce Process Begin?

The divorce process begins with the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This asks the court to dissolve the marriage and grant a divorce. To file this petition, the parties must show that one of the parties has been a resident in Illinois for at least 90 days prior to filing the petition and the parties have lived separate and apart for six months.

Requirements for Living Separately

The parties can meet the requirement of living “separate and apart” for six months in several ways. First, the parties can live in separate homes for six months. Second, the parties can continue to live together in the same house as long as they live in separate rooms and are no longer intimate with one another. The parties would act more like roommates than a married couple.

Once the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed, the divorce process has begun. Our experienced Illinois divorce attorneys will continue to help you through the entire process.

A decision to legally separate is quite similar to a decision to divorce. At the end of the day, the only real difference is that both parties are still technically married. Some couples prefer this due to religious beliefs or for tax benefits or insurance coverage reasons.

In the absence of a mediated legal separation agreement, the family law courts will make decisions regarding child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and other matters.

A separation agreement can address issues such as the division of assets and granting one party the right to temporarily remain in the home or use the family car, for instance.

Before a couple decides that filing for legal separation is the most beneficial route, they should consult an experienced Illinois family law lawyer. Legal separation and divorce can have very different effects on government benefits, medical insurance coverage, federal taxes, and more.

Requirements for Simple and Uncontested Divorce in Illinois


Illinois provides a simplified way to obtain a divorce known as a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.

The requirements for this type of divorce are:

  • Neither party is financially dependent on the other
  • One of the parties has been a resident of Illinois for at least 90 days
  • The parties establish that irreconcilable differences lead to a breakdown of the marriage
  • No children were born of the marriage
  • The marriage did not last for more than eight (8) years
  • Neither party has any interest in real property or retirement benefits unless those benefits are held in an individual retirement account and their combined value is less than $10,000
  • The parties waive any rights to maintenance, also referred to as spousal support or alimony
  • The fair market value of all marital property is less than $50,000
  • The parties’ combined gross income from all sources is less than $60,000
  • The parties’ individual gross income from all sources is less than $30,000; and
  • The parties have executed a written agreement allocating ownership and responsibility of all assets in excess of $100 and for any companion animals.

If a couple agrees on all aspects of a divorce but they do not meet the requirements of a Joint Simplified divorce, the couple can file an uncontested divorce.

An uncontested divorce can be more complex than a Joint Simplified divorce because it can include aspects of a divorce that a Joint Simplified divorce does not, such as

  • Parenting time
  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Large marital estates

Although the Joint Simplified divorce and the uncontested divorce may seem like less complex alternatives to traditional divorce, keep in mind that navigating the forms and procedures may still be a difficult task without an experienced Illinois divorce attorney on your side to help.

Dating And Divorce in Illinois

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If you find yourself in a new relationship with a girlfriend or boyfriend before your divorce has been completed, consult a lawyer about the potential for affecting:

Property Division

If your wife or husband can demonstrate to a family court that you have dissipated marital assets, a judge may determine that your fair share in a property division order should be reduced. Therefore, you should beware of any opportunity your spouse may have to accuse you of spending marital funds on your boyfriend or girlfriend.

Spousal Maintenance

Likewise, if you have entered into a supportive relationship, for example, moving in with a boyfriend or girlfriend, your spouse may use this fact to contend that you have no need for spousal support.

Child Custody

If your spouse believes that you are acting immorally in front of your children, they may seek to persuade a family law judge to grant them sole custody. There may also be problems if your spouse alleges that your new partner is a bad influence on your children for reasons such as a history of violence or substance abuse. The court can reduce your visitation rights if your spouse’s allegations succeed.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Divorced in Barrington?

The cost of getting divorced in Barrington, Illinois, can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. Some of the key factors that influence the total cost include:

1. Filing fees:

A typical filing fee for a divorce is a little over $300. However, keep in mind that this fee is subject to change.

2. Complexity of the case:

If the divorce is uncontested and both parties agree on all terms (division of assets, alimony, child custody, etc.), the process may be less expensive. Contested divorces involving disputes over assets, child custody, or support payments will increase costs.

3. Mediation costs:

If you and your spouse opt for mediation to resolve disputes, you’ll need to pay for a mediator’s services, which can cost several hundred dollars per hour.

4. Additional expenses:

Other costs may include fees for serving documents, property appraisals, financial advisors, and court reporters if a trial is necessary. An experienced attorney can help you anticipate and manage these expenses, working to minimize costs where possible.

On average, an uncontested divorce in Barrington may cost between $2,000 and $5,000, while a contested divorce can cost $15,000 or more. However, by working with a reputable divorce lawyer, you can place your case in good hands and take steps to efficiently secure a better future for yourself and your family.

Contact Our Barrington Family Law Attorneys Today

Lawrence Manassa, Barrington Divorce & Separation Attorney
Lawrence Manassa, Barrington Divorce & Separation Lawyer

We understand the stress that divorce can cause, and we are here to support you every step of the way. Our team of skilled attorneys has extensive experience helping a wide range of divorce cases, and we are ready to help you, too.

To arrange a free consultation with one of our Barrington divorce and separation attorneys, call Manassa Law P.C. at 847-221-5511, or contact us online. We will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and provide you with the legal representation you deserve.

Contact Manassa Law P.C. today and take the first step towards protecting your rights and moving forward with your life.

Manassa Law – Barrington Office

1000 Hart Rd 3rd Floor
Barrington, IL 60010
P: 847-996-9177