The Number 1 Rated Divorce Lawyer in Jacksonville Illinois and the Morgan County area

filing for divorce concept - man and woman are signing divorce papers, removed wedding rings on the desk in front of them - Jacksonville, IL

Are you in a failing marriage? Were you just served with divorce papers? The divorce process is a complicated issue, and Michael A. Hankins Attorney at Law is here to help. With over two decades of experience as divorce lawyers, we understand how to advocate and pursue a resolution that is in our client’s best interest. Divorce settlements always get complicated when children are involved, and nobody understands how to navigate those waters better than we do. We not only look out for our client’s best interests but also what is best for your children. Call our legal office to schedule a consultation and see how we can help.

Practice Areas

If you are going through a divorce in the Morgan County area, the first thing you should do is contact Michael A. Hankins Attorney at Law. With over 32 years of experience handling marital disputes, we understand how to reach a resolution that is best for our clients and their children. Whether you are going through a relatively smooth divorce or it is contested, we have the knowledge and resources to help you and your family during this time. Our law firm can help you with these aspects of the divorce process:


Contested Divorce


Child Custody

Allocation of Parental Responsibility

Child Support Payments

Alimony/Spousal Support

Division of Assets/Mediation

Interstate Divorce Proceedings


 In Illinois, in order to meet the requirements for filing for divorce, you must have resided in the state for at least 90 days. When filing for a divorce petition, it must be in the county where at least one spouse lives. Illinois needs to be the primary residence of at least one spouse. If you have children, they must live in the state for at least six months before filing. There needs to be a reason for filing for divorce.

Reasons for Divorce

Illinois state law allows you to file for divorce based on fault or no-fault grounds. If you are filing for a no-fault divorce, the spouses must be living separately for a minimum of two years before filing, and the reason is due to irreconcilable differences. If you are filing for a divorce based on fault grounds, Illinois recognizes:

  • A spouse is naturally impotent
  • A spouse was already married when
    you married them
  • Adultery
  • Spousal abandonment for over a year
  • Mental or physical cruelty from a spouse
  • A spouse attempts to murder you
  • A spouse is convicted of a crime
  • Infected spouse with an STD
  • Drug/Alcohol addiction
distressed couple in the middle of separation/divorce - Jacksonville, IL
Uncontested divorce proceedings. Couple signs the divorce papers in lawyer's office with no issues - Jacksonville, IL

Contested vs Uncontested Divorce

When it comes to contested divorces, there are two possible scenarios. For starters, a contested divorce could mean that both spouses agree on a divorce, but they don’t see eye-to-eye on all the terms. This can include custody agreements, allocation of parental responsibilities, spousal support, and more. If this is the case, a divorce lawyer helps mediate the divorce process, hoping to find a resolution both parties can agree on. Otherwise, a judge may be the deciding factor on how to decide the distribution of assets. Another possibility of a contested divorce is when one spouse is arguing that there are no grounds for divorce. This is an attempt to hinder the divorce petition from being successful.

Uncontested divorce settlements are generally much easier and much less expensive than a contested divorce. Uncontested divorces mean that both parties agree to the divorce and the terms, for the most part. Anything that needs to be worked out tends to fall on the responsibility of your divorce lawyer. Uncontested divorces take less time and tend to be much easier on the family.

Divorces Involving Children

What always seems to make the marriage dissolution process more complicated is when children are involved. Not only does our law firm look out for the interests of our clients, but we also consider what is best for the children. We have seen too many times where parents get personal feelings involved that can put a child’s needs on the backburner – we don’t let that happen. The health and well-being of any child involved in the divorce process are of the utmost concern. Therefore, it is beneficial to have a divorce lawyer with decades of experience to help during these turbulent times, like the ones at Michael A. Hankins Attorney at Law.

We provide legal representation for a variety of issues including:

  • Parental Responsibility
  • Child Custody Agreements
  • Child Support Payments
  • Alimony & Spousal Support Payments
Child of divorce concept - little girl with stuffed bear sits sadly listening to her parents fight - Jacksonville, IL
Contested divorce, use of a mediator to sort through the terms, with the hope of compromising - mediation - Jacksonville, IL


During the divorce process, it isn’t uncommon if both parties can’t see eye-to-eye on the distribution of marital assets, child custody, child support, etc. Both parties feel they contributed to certain things and have strong feelings about what they are entitled to. Furthermore, personal feelings tend to get in the way, as do grudges, which results in an almost impossible situation. Michael A. Hankins Attorney at Law helps facilitate discussions between both parties to help find resolutions that both can agree on.

The upside to mediation:

Cost Effective

A cost-effective process where you can settle disputes outside of the courtroom, which can cut back on legal costs.


This is a private ordeal, meaning both parties can communicate openly and honestly, and it can’t be used against them.

Quick, Firm Resolutions

Resolutions made in the mediation process tend to be upheld better than resolutions made during the litigation process. It’s also a much quicker process.


This helps both parties feel as though the resolution is fair because they share their thoughts and agree on the distribution of marital assets, as opposed to a courtroom deciding for you.

Spousal Support

Alimony payments, also known as spousal support, are another factor in the divorce process. Spousal support is when one party is paid by the other. This is determined by the courts and generally happens when one spouse has more financial stability than the other. While this can be an agreement that is handled by both spouses, if they can’t reach a conclusion – the courts determine the solution.

Spousal support, alimony payments concept - Jacksonville, IL

Spousal support and how much one has to pay depends on several factors including:

  • Pre-Nuptial Agreements
  • Post-Nuptial Agreements
  • Career Contributions
  • Emotional Condition
  • Health Problems
  • Age
  • Length of Marriage
  • Standard of Living
  • Domestic Duties
  • Future Earning Capacity
  • Present Earning Capacity
  • Personal Financial Needs
  • Non-Marital Property
  • Marital Property
  • Income