Clients throughout Peoria turn to Schierer & Ritchie for legal assistance and help of navigating the complexities of family law. Our experienced and empathetic attorneys represent families in all aspects of family law, including:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Paternity contests
- No-contact orders
- Modification of past orders
We can also assist with the special circumstances faced by divorcing military couples.
For most families, a divorce is one of the most difficult and emotional challenges they will ever face. Having a compassionate attorney in your court will make all the difference in ensuring that your divorce is as smooth and inexpensive as possible.
In certain cases, you may wish to consider divorce mediation. The mediation process allows a divorcing couple to avoid what otherwise might become a costly and contentious court battle. By meeting with a mediator to discuss and negotiate their differences, both parties can arrive at an agreeable divorce settlement.
We’ll help you make important decisions about property division, finances, and your children’s futures during this difficult time in your life. With Schierer & Ritchie on your team, you have a compassionate and knowledgeable ally to guide you through the divorce process.
Divorcing when there are children in the marriage is a highly emotional process. At Schierer & Ritchie, we are sympathetic to the difficult decisions you must make when determining child custody as a part of your divorce. Our experienced family law attorneys will help you understand and navigate your legal options, including:
- Sole custody vs. joint custody: whether one parent or both parents have the authority to make decisions about the child’s health, education, and upbringing
- Physical custody and visitation: which parent the child lives with for the majority of his or her time, and on what schedule the non-custodial parent is permitted to visit with his or her child
- The factors courts consider to determine child custody, and whether fathers are at a disadvantage when asking for child custody
- Who can ask for custody of a child, and the situations in which non-parents may be awarded child custody.
The purpose of child support is to allow the child to maintain his or her standard of living following a divorce. Child support payments are determined by considering each parent’s income, the amount of time each parent spends with the child, and the costs of the child’s upbringing, such as food, school, daycare, and healthcare expenses.
At Schierer & Ritchie, we help custodial and non-custodial parents negotiate child support payments that are in your and your child’s best interest. If your ex-spouse isn’t making child support payments or is trying to avoid paying child support by becoming voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, we can help you bring them to court and get the support your child deserves. If you have lost your job and are unable to afford child support payments, we can help you adjust your child support obligation.
Maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony, is a payment made from one former spouse to the other. Like child support, the purpose of this payment is to help the ex-spouse get back on his or her feet after the divorce and to maintain a similar standard of living to that held during the marriage. Maintenance is generally awarded to the spouse who earned a lower income or no income at all during the marriage.
Many factors influence how courts determine whether spousal support is ordered and if so, how much will be awarded. The factors that the court takes into consideration include the length of the marriage, the relative earnings, and assets of each ex-spouse, whether one spouse’s earning potential was limited due to caring for children, and whether either ex-spouse has special financial needs, such as medical expenses.
If you are wondering how you will afford life after your divorce, we can help. Our experienced spousal support attorneys will help you negotiate an alimony plan that will allow you to begin your new life.
For a valuable ally in your paternity matters, contact the family law attorneys at Schierer & Ritchie. We can assist you with the establishment of paternal rights and the determination of child custody, visitation, and support orders.
If there is a question about who is the father of a child, Schierer & Ritchie can help with the process of genetic testing and proving or disproving paternity in family court. Whether you wish to obtain legal rights surrounding your biological child or wish to contest allegations that you are the father of a child, consult with our family lawyers for legal advice.
A no-contact order is often used to protect victims of domestic violence. The order will require the defendant to maintain a specified distance from the victim’s home and workplace. It prohibits the defendant from contacting the victim in any way. This includes in-person contact, contact by mail and over the phone, and electronic contact such as over social media.
A violation of a no-contact order has serious consequences. They may even include jail time.
Whether you require a no-contact order or have had one issued against you, it is important to seek immediate legal assistance. The attorneys at Schierer & Ritchie can help you with all aspects of your no contact order case, including filing the necessary paperwork and presenting your case to the judge.
Modification of Past Orders
Parents sometimes need to return to court to modify orders after the case is finished. For example, you might wish to change your visitation schedule or need to change the amount you are paying in child support.
If both parents agree on the changes, you may be able to change the orders without appearing in front of a judge. If you don’t agree, however, you must file a motion to ask the court to change your orders. Contact the law offices of Schierer & Ritchie to determine the best course of action for modifying past orders.
For military families undergoing divorces, there are unique issues to be aware of. The non-military spouse may be eligible for continued health coverage through Tricare or the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP), and may be able to negotiate for the service member’s retirement assets in their Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The matter of dividing the service member’s retirement pension is a complex and potentially contentious issue that is best left to expert legal counsel.
Although military legal assistance attorneys can provide advice, they cannot represent you in court. The military divorce lawyers at Schierer & Ritchie specialize in navigating the complexities of divorces between service members and their spouses. We can help you understand your rights as a member of the armed forces and seek a favorable resolution for your military divorce.
Contact Peoria Family Law Attorneys
At Schierer & Ritchie, we know that divorce and custody conflicts are some of the most stressful situations most people face. We’re here to make the process a little easier for you. For expert legal advice and a compassionate ally in your family law case, contact Schierer & Ritchie. During your free consultation, we will discuss your unique situation and outline your legal options.