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DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Focusing On Your Illinois Divorce Needs

When you are facing a divorce, you have enough on your mind. Your legal counsel should be part of the solution and give you the personal attention and tailored representation that you need to get through a difficult time. As a DuPage County divorce attorney, Ms. Scurto is focused on providing personalized service to her clients, who appreciate the dedicated and solution-oriented representation she provides. Sherby will work closely with you throughout the process, not her assistants or paralegal.

Starting the Divorce Process

As an Oakbrook Terrace family law lawyer, Sherby has extensive experience helping people begin the marriage dissolution process. There a few essential first steps that must be taken, including:

  • Initial assessment — During your free initial consultation, Sherby will assess your goals and discuss the best approach for resolving your situation.
  • Filing — Once the decision to divorce is made, one party files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court.
  • Summons — The non-filing party receives a summons and has 30 days to file a response. This starts the divorce process.

Resolving the Issues With Quick, Equitable Settlements

Once the process has begun, Sherby will work to reach agreement on all the relevant issues surrounding the end of a marriage, including:

  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Division of assets and debts


Sherby works diligently at finding solutions to family law issues quickly so they are settled before you even get to court to finalize the divorce.

Sherby’s approach can save you the time and expense of ongoing litigation. It also reduces the strain between you and your ex-spouse. Avoiding the trial process is best for everyone involved. From her Oakbrook Terrace law office, she provides a safe, comfortable setting in which you can discuss your case.

Are military divorces different than civilian divorces?

A military divorce is not the same as a civilian divorce. There are special issues specific to military divorces that a lot of attorneys with no military experience simply do not understand. If you are facing a military divorce, you want a lawyer who is familiar with the unique and challenging laws surrounding military divorce.

Sherby is an Army veteran, who understand the laws and procedures involved in military divorce. She understand how the military works. Serving DuPage County from her Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois law firm office, she offers a discounted rate for all military divorce clients.

Several common issues come up in most of the military divorces that the Law Office of Sherby Dianne Scurto, P.C. handles:

  • Deployment: Deployment usually forces the parties to live in different jurisdictions, which causes custody and visitation problems. Sherby works hard to make sure the kids still have a chance to maintain a relationship with both parents after a divorce, regardless of deployment-related issues.
  • Benefits packages: Often a military retirement pension is the main asset for military families. When it comes to division of assets and debt, Ms. Scurto can help you reach a quick, equitable settlement regarding the military benefits package.
  • Varying laws by military branch: Depending on whether we are dealing with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or Marines, the laws regarding child custody, child support, division of assets and spousal support will be different. You need an attorney with military experience to help you work through these complicated laws.

Plenty can go wrong in a military divorce. Knowledge of military procedures as well as the law is something you should consider when choosing counsel for a military divorce.

Common Divorce Questions

What kinds of child custody are available?

Custody and visitation present two of the biggest issues in any divorce proceeding. It is often difficult for a divorcing couple to come to an amicable agreement regarding the details concerning the care, visiting times, and the primary residence of the children. As a DuPage County child custody attorney, Sherby provides dedicated representation for people facing custody and visitation issues.

Legal custody refers to a parent’s decision-making authority regarding religion, education, medical issues and other important decisions. As an Oakbrook Terrace parenting plan lawyer, Sherby can explain in-depth what custody options are available, including:

  • Physical custody — This refers to where the child’s primary residence will be.
  • Sole custody — This refers to one parent having the full authority to make all the major decisions concerning the child.
  • Joint custody — This means that the parents will share responsibility for any major decisions concerning the children.

Custody issues must be settled within 18 months after the filing of the initial petition for divorce. Sherby will work tirelessly to help you reach an agreement that is as fair as possible to all parties involved.

Parenting time refers to how much time the children spend with each parent. After the initial pleading is filed, the court will issue a status date, usually within 90 days of the initial filing. if the divorcing parties do not have a parenting schedule by then, the court will refer the parties to mediation. The parties will work with the assistance of an experienced mediator to assist them in reaching an agreement.

From my Oakbrook Terrace divorce law firm, Sherby will focus on resolving child custody and visitation issues as quickly as possible, preferably before the start of a trial. She will settle matters quickly, because she knows that prolonged conflict is not good for the children. She will work hard to help you reach a visitation plan agreement well before the status date.

How are divorce assets and debts distributed?

As a DuPage County division of assets and debt attorney, Ms. Scurto does everything she can to make sure the final divorce decree is equitable. Equitable does not necessarily mean “equal.” Equitable means “fair.” Working toward a fair solution helps the parties reach a resolution more quickly, which makes it easier for the parties to work together as co-parents after the divorce is final.

Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that not all assets and debts of the spouses are divided, only the marital assets and marital debts that are shared. Nothing that was earned or owned before the marriage is divided in a divorce unless it has taken on the appearance of marital property. As an Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer, Sherby prides herself on focusing on a fair division of debt and assets in divorce proceedings. Property division in a divorce will usually include:

  • Real property — Including the principal residence, vacation homes and any interest in property acquired during the marriage
  • Vehicles — Including cars, motorcycles and trucks, as well as boats and aircraft
  • Personal valuables — Including jewelry and artwork
  • Savings — Including pensions, military pensions and insurance policies

The division of property also includes the division of various debts, including:

  • Home debt
  • Credit card debt
  • Car debt
  • Personal loans

The goal at the beginning of the property division process is to get full disclosure from both parties. Once we know the full extent of the marital estate, we will work to split up all of the relevant property in the most equitable manner possible.

Can my divorce decree be modified?

Life is always changing. Following a divorce, you may get a new career opportunity or a job may require you to relocate. You may find yourself facing a family emergency somewhere out of state. Problems may arise when the parenting plan in your divorce decree cannot accommodate these changes. As a DuPage County divorce modification attorney, Sherby can help you find efficient solutions that will best serve the needs of you and your children.

With the exception of spousal support, nearly every aspect of a divorce decree can be modified, including:

  • Child custody and visitation — Custody refers to who has the authority to make major decisions for the child. Visitation refers to which parent has the child, when and under what circumstances.
  • Child support — This issue involves how much a parent pays or receives to cover a child’s basic expenses.
  • Location — This issue involves the removal of a child to an out-of-state location after the divorce decree is finalized, and the effect that this move will have on the parenting plan.

As an Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer, Sherby has the experience to modify divorce decrees to reflect the new reality of your situation.

Do I have to pay spousal support?

During the course of a marriage, each person becomes accustomed to the standard of living that was shared during the marriage. In some circumstances, such as when only one person was earning the majority of the income, the law may require spousal support or alimony of some kind. As a DuPage County spousal support attorney, Sherby has experience helping people with these issues. She will always work toward a quick and equitable settlement to help families avoid costly, drawn-out court battles that can destroy any type of future relationship.

Spousal maintenance or support is the same thing as alimony, which involves the payments provided by one spouse to the other following a divorce. As an Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer, Sherby has handled many cases involving support payments in a wide variety of scenarios.

One common scenario involves a couple that is divorcing after many years of marriage during which only one of the spouses worked. Because the other spouse stayed home the entire time and was unable to develop marketable skills or job connections, that spouse is unable to bring in the same kind of income enjoyed during the marriage. The law will require support payments from the employed spouse, which may be either temporary or permanent, depending on the situation.

Can I move with my children after a divorce?

After a divorce involving children, moving from one state to another becomes much more complicated. Many of Sherby’s DuPage County clients are surprised to find that interstate relocation, especially if it involves child relocation, requires court authorization.

Sherby can help with your post-divorce child relocation issues. She is an Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois divorce attorney serving DuPage County. When you are looking at the possibility of moving after a divorce, Sherby will work to settle the issues with the other party and finalize an order with the court quickly and professionally. Her goal is to find solutions that are equitable for everyone, minimizing the need for a lengthy court battle.

Relocation may become necessary for a variety of reasons. Sometimes custodial parents want children to move away with them, or non-custodial parents want to move away themselves. But courts generally want to retain jurisdiction over a divorce case, in part because courts want to keep families from being torn apart by child removal.

Generally, the following guidelines apply to relocation after a divorce:

  • Individually, you can move anywhere in the state without court approval.
  • Moving anywhere out of the state requires a petition to the court.
  • The court places a particularly high burden on a parent who wants to move to another state; only circumstances like job changes and family emergencies are generally recognized. Regardless of whether the child relocates with the moving parent, the move must be in the best interests of the child.

Still have more questions?

Each divorce is unique and circumstances can vary. Sherby can help.

Contact her today for a free consultation.
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