Personalized Solutions in Child and Family Law
Serving Clients in Cook, DuPage, and Kane County, Illinois
Dignity: We treat all individuals as we would be treated, with empathy and respect.
Humility: We put our clients first. We are not pretentious.
Transparency: We communicate. We provide alternative billing methods.
Step-Parent Adoption, Unrelated Adoption, Contested Adoption
Adoption adds a member to your family, but also terminates the parental rights of at least one biological parent. It's an emotional process, filled with procedural hurdles. A successful adoption requires careful planning, diligent representation, and knowledge of Illinois adoption law. Chrissie knows the importance of following the letter of the law in completing an adoption, and she provides her clients with comprehensive representation, personalized to meet their needs.
Biological Parent Representation
Facing the termination of your parental rights in an adoption is incredibly painful. Facing it alone can be not only difficult, but detrimental to your relationship with your child at any point in the future. Chrissie represents biological parents whether they consent to or contest an adoption, and she counsels them throughout the process, explaining their options based on the circumstances. She is empathetic and does not judge those in need of her counsel.
A minor guardianship allows you to take full responsibility for another person's child, upon a finding by the court that it would be in the best interest of the child to do so, for example, if your grandchild lives with you and your daughter, his mother, is presently unable, or unfit, to care for him. A minor guardianship provides a safe and secure home and caretaker for a child when his parents cannot be there for him. A minor guardianship does not terminate the parental rights of the biological mother or father, and adequate notice is required for both biological parents, to the greatest extent possible. When appropriate, the guardian may set up visits with the biological parent(s) so as to maintain a healthy relationship between all parties involved. Chrissie works with her clients to obtain minor guardianships when necessary, and she advises her clients of the process and legal procedures for successfully doing so. She is sensitive to the feelings of all people involved, and she advises clients on how to proceed with minimal conflict when possible.
A divorce is a complex life event, presenting financial issues as well as emotional pain. Chrissie seeks to provide her clients with peace of mind by listening intently to all of their concerns, spotting the relevant legal issues, applying the rule of law, and helping them reach a fair and reasonable conclusion. A marriage legally joins two parties in their property, debt, and financial assets. A divorce must untangle what has been woven together through the years. The process is often expensive, timely, and upsetting. Chrissie seeks to change that by offering alternative billing methods, limiting the scope of her representation when feasible, and focusing on the path forward, rather than dwelling on the past. Chrissie is empathetic and mindful of mental health. She encourages her clients to take care of themselves while she works diligently to solve the legal problems at hand, whether in preparing for trial or reaching a settlement.
DIVORCE WITH MINOR CHILDREN / PARENTAGE
When it comes to issues of child support, Illinois now uses what is known as an income shares model. Chrissie can help her clients understand the calculations under the family's circumstances. In issues of child custody, now known as Parental Responsibility and Parenting Time in Illinois, parents should try to come together and reach a realistic plan regarding allocation. A realistic plan takes into consideration all aspects of the family's daily lives, including time at each parent's home, religion, education, healthcare, and extra-curricular activities. Parents should always try to set their differences aside and put their children first. However, they may disagree on what they feel is best for their children. When an agreement cannot be reached, Chrissie will advocate completely for her clients' position in court, and provide her clients with insight as to the potential outcomes along the way.
This web site provides general information about The Law Office of Christina Martell. Nothing on this site is intended as legal advice, and you should not consider it as such. Please keep in mind that simply contacting The Law Office of Christina Martell will not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal representation from us, we will apply our conflict of interest check processes and other regular client and matter intake procedures to determine if we can represent you and whether to proceed to forming an attorney-client representation. If Christina agrees to form an attorney-client relationship, and you receive from the firm, and sign and return, an engagement letter, then we may proceed with the engagement.