From Family Law to Real Estate

A person signing papers with a wedding ring on top of it.


The decision to divorce is difficult.  Dividing marital property is not easy.  Decisions must be made regarding the children.  I strive to make this process as easy and as efficient as possible while protecting your rights and working to achieve your objectives.  I use my 23 years of experience in handling dissolution of marriage cases to create solutions which work for you and your family.  No two divorces are the same.  Each family has its own interesting dynamics and issues which must be discussed and addressed.  I will work with you to figure out what is the best course of action for your case and family.  I will work towards achieving a settlement if possible, and if necessary, I will aggressively litigate your matter and strongly advocate for your interests in court. 

A family standing on the beach holding hands.


The issues of child custody, visitation and parental responsibilities are a top concern when going through a divorce or paternity matter.  The term “custody” is now referred to as the allocation of parental responsibilities, which addresses who makes substantial decisions about a child, including, medical, religion and education.  A “parenting plan” will set forth parenting time and responsibilities for the minor child(ren).  In order to determine the allocation of significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time a court will focus on what is in the child’s best interests.  There are several factors which a court considers in order to determine what is in the best interest of a child. 

I understand that issues relating to matters involving children are often emotional.  I will work with you to negotiate and draft a carefully worded parenting plan which is comprehensive so that both parents understand the requirements set forth in the document.  Judges prefer for parents to work together with their attorneys to negotiate a parenting plan agreement.  I understand that it is not always possible for an agreement to be reached, and it might be necessary to litigate the issue in court.  I will aggressively represent your matter to the court so that your interests are protected.

A group of children sitting at a table with papers.


Child support in Illinois is based on an “income-sharing model.”  This model calculates child support based on the net incomes of both parties, the number of children, and the number of overnights each parent has with the children each year.  In addition, each party is obligated to contribute to the out-of-pocket expenses for the children, such as medical expenses, education expenses and extracurricular fees.  My goal is to ensure that child support is fair and reasonable and is set forth according to the statute.

A judge 's gavel sitting on top of a wooden table.


Changes can develop after your divorce is finalized and you may seek to file a Petition to Modify the original divorce decree or Parental Allocation Judgment. Generally, a modification will only be granted if there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the entry of the original divorce decree.  Frequently the changes involve a change in income and financial resources, your living situation, your health, or the needs of your children.  Sometimes a modification can be based upon issues which were not contemplated at the time of the original divorce. There are rules and statutes which pertain specifically to modifcations of dissolution and parenting judgments.  I will explain these rules and statutes so that you understand.  If you are considering filing a post-divorcee modification, I will review your case and provide guidance on the best course of action to move forward.  Together we will make a plan as to the best way to proceed and then we will execute the plan to obtain your desired results.  I will explain the process and procedure so that you can make informed decisions and I will advocate on your behalf to ensure that your rights are fully protected.

A couple of people sitting at a table


The process of administering an estate after the death of a loved one can be stressful.  I will assist you in opening the estate and having an Executor or Administrator appointed, identify assets of the estate, provide advice on how and when to distribute the assets, work with an estate accountant to make sure debts and taxes are properly paid, and close the estate to make sure that the executor or administrator is discharged.  The probate process has many rules and regulations which must be followed.  I will help you traverse the process to make sure that your loved ones wishes are followed.

A person in suit writing on paper next to another person.


A prenuptial agreement is a legal document which is prepared and signed prior to your marriage which if done properly can provide security and predictability as to what happens in the event of a divorce.  The agreement provides protection to both parties.  I understand that discussing a prenuptial agreement can be uncomfortable.  I can assist you with having this conversation and try to lessen the stress that may come with having the discussion with your significant other. 

A building with many windows and a sky background


Whether you are buying or selling a property, I am ready to assist.  The process of buying or selling a home can be overwhelming.  I have a hands-on approach and will keep you advised from the initial review of the contract to the closing on the property.  I will help you navigate issues that arise during the process. I will explain any questions that you might have during the process.  It is important that you have quality legal representation during your real estate purchase or sale to protect you and your investment.  Each real estate transaction is different and unique.  I have the experience necessary to make sure that your real estate matter is handled properly and in a timely manner.

A man and woman sitting on top of a couch.


It is important to plan ahead to protect your family.  I make the process of planning your estate easy, by offering personalized guidance on wills and trusts to ensure that your documents set forth your wishes for the transfer of assets at your death the way you want it to be done.  A comprehensive estate plan ensures your wishes will be carried out and helps protect loved ones after your death.  I will review your assets, discuss your wishes for the distribution of those assets, and draft comprehensive documents which set forth those wishes within the laws of the State of Illinois.  Estate planning documents may include:

  • A Last Will and Testament: A legal document which sets forth your wishes as to how to distribute your assets after your death.
  • A Revocable Living Trust: An estate planning document which is frequently used to avoid the probate process if drafted, executed and funded properly.
  • A Health Care Power of Attorney: This document appoints a trusted agent to make health care decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated.
  • A Property Power of Attorney: This document appoints a trusted agent to handle your financial affairs in the event you become incapacitated.
  • Transfer on Death Instrument: A deed which sets forth a named individual as beneficiary to receive real estate at your death which may if prepared properly assist in bypassing the need for probate.

I know it is difficult to think about and discuss death and end of life, however, by preparing in advance it will make the process easier on the loved ones you leave behind.  I will work with you to make sure that your wishes are set forth in your estate planning documents. 

Take the First Step Toward Resolution

At Stacey M Rhody Attorney Law, I understand that facing legal challenges can be overwhelming, but you don't have to navigate them alone. Whether it’s real estate transactions or marital settlement agreements, as your dedicated legal advocate, I am here to provide you with the support, expertise, and personalized solutions you deserve.