Legal FAQ | Legal Questions | Illinois State Bar Association

Legal FAQs


Unmarried couples should consider having a written “living-together” agreement that includes a will or trust, a health care power of attorney, and a power of attorney for property (if appropriate).


The legal obligation rests with your ex-husband. Your larger problem is proving what he is actually earning, which could be quite difficult, since he is living in a different state. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services or a local attorney who is experienced in family law can provide some low-cost ways to help you ensure that you are receiving adequate child support payments.


In Illinois, spousal abandonment is considered grounds for dissolution of the marriage. Illinois divorce law requires that the property be divided equitably but not necessarily equally. Generally, the court is prohibited from using marital misconduct including abandonment in property division and division of debts. The court has the power to allocate property to achieve substantial equity between the parties, but to do so, it must consider the economic circumstances of each spouse.


Asking family and friends for recommendations is often a good source for obtaining a referral. You can also find a lawyer through a legal referral service. The Illinois State Bar Association’s lawyer referral service offers an affordable way to speak with an attorney to learn more about your options. Call 800-922-8757 and receive a 30-minute consultation with a lawyer in your area for no more than $25. Or, you can search the ISBA’s online database ( for lawyers who practice in the field of law you need.

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