Over 35 Years of Experience Dedicated and Personalized Attention

If you are located in Cook County, Will County or the surrounding areas, call Roland P. Ernst today for guidance regarding your case.

Cook County Family Law Attorney

Advocating for Parents and Families Throughout Cook and Will Counties 

The Law Offices of Carr, O’Rourke & Ernst, LTD represent parents and families dealing with family law issues ranging from divorce to domestic violence to child relocation petitions. Our firm is led by a skilled trial attorney who has been trying divorces for nearly 40 years. Attorney Roland P. Ernst handles every case at the firm himself, so you can count on receiving personalized attention on your family law case. After all, every family is different, so every case requires a unique approach. Attorney Ernst will take a detailed look at your situation and lay out all your options for resolving your family law disputes. Whether you have questions about filing for uncontested or contested divorce, obtaining an order of protection from family violence, or calculating child or spousal support, the Law Offices of Carr, O’Rourke & Ernst, LTD is here to help. 

Schedule a free consultation with our firm today to learn more. Representing families in Orland Park, Joliet, Will County, Tinley Park, and Frankfort. 

A Dedicated & Experienced Advocate Meet Roland P. Ernst


Our Client Testimonials

  • “Roland was an excellent listener and took the time to understand and empathize with what was important to me in outcomes. He not only understood the law, but could see the areas where we could negotiate with my ex and her lawyer.”

Filing for Divorce in Illinois 

There are two types of divorce processes available to spouses in Illinois: 

  • Uncontested – a divorce where both spouses agree on all the divorce topics, such as how child custody will be handled, how property will be divided, and which spouse should pay alimony 
  • Contested – a divorce where the spouses cannot reach an agreement on the divorce matters (e.g., how much child support should be paid, whether to get a divorce, who should pay marital debts) and must go to court to reach the final decision 

The only requirement to file for divorce in Illinois is for one spouse to have lived in the state for at least 90 days prior to filing. A spouse is not required to prove the other spouse’s fault for the breakdown of the marriage, as Illinois recognizes both fault-based and no-fault divorce.  

Types of Disputes

There are several disputes topics a divorcing couple should expect to settle discuss through negotiation, mediation, or litigation, including: 

When deciding on post-divorce arrangements affecting the children in the marriage, the court will make its decision based primarily on the children’s best interests. This includes a range of factors like the child’s relationship with each parent and their adjustment to their community. 

For financial matters like child and spousal support, the court will examine both parents’ incomes and ability to pay, as well as the supported parent’s reasonable need for support. 

Obtaining a Domestic Violence Protection Order 

Another important area of family law that our firm handles is orders of protection against domestic violence. Individuals who have experienced abuse or the threat of abuse from a family or household member, such as a spouse, dating partner, or co-parent, may seek legal protection by petitioning for an order of protection. 

There are three types of orders in Illinois that differ in scope and duration: 

  • Emergency order – These are immediate orders granted in emergency situations that last until the hearing for the plenary (final) order, which is usually within 14-21 days. Under an emergency order, the abuser is not required to appear for the victim to obtain an emergency order from the court. 
  • Interim order – Interim orders are meant to protect the victim in the duration between the expiration of the emergency order and the date of the plenary hearing. Interim orders usually last 30 days and the abuser is required to make an initial appearance before the court, or at least have been notified of the hearing. 
  • Plenary order – These are long-term orders issued after a full court hearing where both the victim and abuser appear. These last up to 2 years and can be renewed. 

Orders of protection can prohibit the alleged abuser from several behaviors and actions, including: 

  • harassing, abusing, stalking, or intimidating the petitioner; 
  • approaching the petitioner or anyone else protected by the order; 
  • approaching the petitioner’s school, job, or other places when they are there; 
  • relocating with any shared children; 
  • receiving full or modified custody (permanently or temporarily); 
  • taking, transferring, hiding, or damaging the petitioner’s personal property or property that they co-own together; 
  • possession of firearms; 
  • returning to the shared home where the petitioner lives; 
  • obtaining the petitioner’s personal property, including property they own jointly with the abuser; 
  • anything else necessary to prevent further abuse. 

The alleged abuser may also be required to pay temporary support for the petitioner and any children in the petitioner’s care, as well as reimburse the petitioner for any losses suffered because of the abuse. Those reimbursable losses can include medical expenses, lost earnings, repairs for damaged property, and legal fees.

Experience & Dedication

Let a Compassionate Family Lawyer Represent Your Interests as a Spouse

Family law issues are deeply sensitive matters, and we understand the significance of a family court order on your and your children’s future. The Law Offices of Carr, O’Rourke & Ernst, LTD is led by a compassionate and highly experienced trial attorney who has guided divorcing clients through the legal process for nearly 40 years. Whether you have questions about filing for divorce, negotiating property division, or requesting an order of protection in Illinois, Attorney Roland P. Ernst is the advocate for you. 

Schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of Carr, O’Rourke & Ernst, LTD for more information on your legal options.

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