Family Law & Mediation

Divorce and other family law conflicts can take a high emotional and financial toll. Emotions run high. Stress, fear and uncertainty may occupy your every thought. However, you can get through the process and take the first step towards a fresh start. That is where an attorney experience in divorce can help you. Let the Law Offices of Ruyle & Sims take the burden and uncertainty of a divorce off your shoulder and help you set up a foundation for your new life.


No two families are the same, and there is no one solution that works for every divorce. We can prepare you for every stage of the divorce process. Marriage partners may not know their legal rights and obligations. It is for this reason that they should seek legal advice from an attorney. Without a knowledgeable attorney who takes a personal approach to your divorce, you risk the chance of losing certain rights forever. Call the Law Offices of Ruyle & Sims so that you can have a knowledgeable attorney analyze your unique situation and help you make decisions in the best interests of you and your family.

We will walk you through the steps that need to be taken to resolve every aspect of your divorce including:

• Child Custody and Support

• Spousal Support

• Division of Assets

• Post-Divorce Litigation

• Pre and Post Marital Agreements

Together, we will explore all the options available to you and guide you through the process, reaching workable solutions that look to the future. We will always let you know what to expect so that you are never shocked in negotiations, mediation or litigation.

Dedicated Advocacy for Your Divorce

At Ruyle & Sims we provide aggressive representation for our clients dealing with divorce and the issues associated with it, including:

Helping You Prepare for Your New Life

Simply put, we protect you. That protection involves a focus on your best interests and financial future. As your advocate, our goal will be to maximize your financial settlement to best enable you to begin your new life.

Residents of Central Illinois have relied on the Law Offices of Ruyle & Sims to help them through a divorce. Preparations must be made as the family structure changes. Personal issues must be dealt with, especially when those matters involve a divorcing couple’s children.

Child Custody and Support

Children quickly become the focal point of a divorce, because of the many factors that affect the start of your new life such as child support payments and parenting time. Not only is this area an important factor in any divorce, it is often the most emotional aspect of divorce, and couple’s cooperative approach can quickly disappear. At The Law Offices of Ruyle & Sims we are dedicated to the cause of our clients, but also recognize the best interests of their children.

We provide a high level of dedicated representation for our clients focused on the needs of their children. While we strive to reach an agreement in mediation for child custody matters, we also recognize that litigation may be the best way to secure the most favorable outcome. Contact an attorney at our office at 888-308-7536 or 217-854-3283.


The care and upbringing of children following divorce is often an ongoing source of conflict for divorcing parents. Custody must address both physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody typically involves allocating parental rights and responsibilities regarding the day-to-day care and activities of the children. Legal custody typically involves allocating the legal rights and responsibilities associated with the child’s upbringing.

Sometimes the parents agree to an arrangement; sometimes the court determines one for them. In the past, courts routinely gave mothers physical custody and gave fathers visitation rights. Today, the courts have begun to realize that sometimes it is in the best interests of the children to reside with the father and reverse the roles of the parents. In general, the courts favor joint ongoing child rearing responsibilities with the children residing where it is most practical and where they will flourish. The advice and assistance of a family law attorney can help parents to establish child custody and visitation agreements that focus on the interests of the children.

Visitation Rights

When it comes to visitation, it is extremely rare that a parent is not granted these rights. Here in Illinois, the legal system believes that every child has a right to see both parents. If visitation rights are being withheld by a custodial parent, that parent is often acting outside of his or her rights.

Fighting for the Best Interests of Your

Putting the children in the middle of a custody or visitation battle is not something we encourage. The children are dealing with the after-effects of their parents splitting up. They do not need to witness the battle between their mother and father over parenting time. We encourage both sides to find a middle ground in a parenting plan. However, mediation is only as effective as each side’s willingness to be agreeable.

Child Support

The purpose of Child Support is to assure that the child or children share in their level and standard of living of both of their parents. The Court’s goal in dealing with Child Support issues is to provide that the children can be able to maintain a level of income that represents a contribution from both parents while providing the non-custodial or non-residential parent with an ability to support himself or herself and his or her family.

Calculating Child Support

The State of Illinois has set out Child Support Guidelines to assist the court in calculating payments by non-custodial or non-residential custodial parents to the custodial or residential parents. Nevertheless, guidelines are only guidelines. Our attorneys can assist the parents to determine the appropriate Child Support Payments for each parent’s specific economic situations. Issues such as illness, children from another marriage, high income (either by the party required to pay child support by the party entitled to receive child support), the ages of the children and the non-custodial parent’s income potential can have a potential impact on Child Support awards.

Whether you are seeking to establish child support or modify a prior child order, either upward or downward, the attorneys at Ruyle & Sims have your best interest at heart and will provide knowledgeable experience and skilled representation.

Child Support Enforcement

A parent who fails to remain current on his or her child support obligations faces significant penalties. Every state has a child support enforcement office that works with the family court to suspend professional or business licenses, take away driver and recreational licenses, require payment of future owed sums in advance, or in some circumstances place non-paying parents in jail when child support obligations are overdue. Because of the state specific requirements involved in child support, parents can benefit from the advice and involvement of a family law attorney at Ruyle & Sims when child support issues arise.

Spousal Support

Spousal support can transform a mutually cooperative divorce into a battle over how much money one should pay and how much the other should receive. At The Law Offices of Ruyle & Sims we take your needs and wants into account and strive to get what you deserve. Do not try to negotiate spousal support on your own. You need a divorce attorney looking out for your best interests and protecting your rights.

How We Can Help

At the Law Offices of Ruyle & Sims our goal is to secure for our clients the fairest, most reasonable alimony agreement possible. We can help you determine what is right for your individual situation and are equipped to represent you in cases involving:

• Temporary Alimony

• Permanent Alimony

• Modifying Alimony

Whatever your alimony needs, we would like to help.

Unlike child support, spousal support does not have strict calculations. Various factors enter into a final amount. Length of the marriage and financial needs are only the start of what can be a complicated and contentious process. Divorce is rife with emotion, and many times alimony is used for revenge instead of a practical need for money.

Striving to Make Your Financial Future More Secure

At Ruyle & Sims we focus on helping our clients find that all-important middle ground. We fight for the best outcome on your behalf, and we are dedicated to your long-term goals. We do the legal “heavy lifting” while you deal with the personal issues and prepare for your life post-divorce.

However, we also recognize that negotiating a temporary or permanent spousal support arrangement requires cooperation from the opposing side. While post-marital relationships are at stake, paying too much or receiving too little can create just as much stress.

Division of Assets

Securing a property settlement between a divorcing couple is not as simple as assigning physical assets. The complexities should discourage anyone from doing it themselves. Protect the assets that are rightfully yours by putting an experienced attorney at your side. At The Law Offices of Ruyle & Sims we provide a high level of dedicated and aggressive representation to our clients in Macoupin County and throughout the South Central Illinois.

Equitable Distribution

For most divorces, the court will order that there be an equitable distribution of property. This does not necessarily mean that your property will be split evenly. Instead, if one spouse is going to have a more difficult time supporting the lifestyle to which he or she has become accustomed, that spouse will receive a larger portion of the property.

Our attorneys understand that it is possible for this concept to be skewed. In some cases, the court may be convinced that one of the spouses will require a larger portion of the property. If this is untrue, however, our practice will fight to make sure that you receive the portion that you deserve.

Is Your Property Marital, Non-marital or Commingled?

Was the property, asset or debt acquired prior to the marriage? Is it still discernible? This means, can it still be identified or has it been so intertwined with marital assets or debts that it cannot be specifically identified? Is your property inherited? Is your property commingled? Is your property a business? Was this business formed during the marriage? Do you receive passive or active income from that business? What are the tax ramifications of the asset and debt division scheme?

Our attorneys are experienced at representing men and women in property classification matters to determine whether property is marital or non-marital and if separate property has been commingled or remained separate.

Protecting What Is Yours

When our clients are going through a divorce, we serve as their advocates in property distribution disputes. We provide protection of their assets when the other spouse wants to claim the property as their own. Too much is at stake. Put this vital matter in the hands of an attorney who provides personalized service and attends to every detail of your divorce.

Experience with and knowledge of Illinois state law as it relates to property division is vital. The ability to be proactive in developing a long-term property settlement can prevent problems in the future.

Valuing Property for Settlements Now and in the Future

While settlements dealing with tangible items from kitchen appliances to cars may be reached with little effort, determining possession of more complex items is more difficult. That includes retirement accounts and businesses that need valuation. Both spouses may be entitled to a portion of that growing asset. As the value increases over time, the balance could shift in one spouse’s direction.

Willing to Mediate and Ready to Litigate a Property Settlement

At The Law Offices of Ruyle & Sims we recognize the complexity of finding a middle ground in a property settlement that includes 401ks and company ownership. While we strive to resolve the matter through negotiation, we will not hesitate to take the case to court. The security of your future is far too important to ignore the future value of any asset.

Complexities arise when both spouses contribute to a bank account opened before the marriage by one spouse. Other issues can arise because retirement accounts can increase in value over time. Bringing in financial experts helps us build your division of property case based on the facts.

Pre and Post Marital Agreements

A pending marriage requires preparation for a ceremony and reception. Marriage is a legal and business union as much as it is a romantic one. Because marriage is a legal and business arrangement, it may be wise to consult with an attorney at the Law Offices of Ruyle & Sims about the advantages of premarital and prenuptial agreements. The last thing you want to consider is the possibility of divorce. Yet, taking a proactive approach could make life easier if you choose to end your marriage.

Many couples find it helpful to work through financial issues and the potential disagreements such issues can create before entering into a marriage. We help clients bring clarity to their marriage while protecting their assets.

The Need for a Pre or Post-Marital Agreement

No one wants to consider divorce before a wedding or in the first few months of a marriage. No one wants to think about which item goes to which spouse following the demise of the marital relationship. But the reality is that nearly 50% of all first marriages in the United States end in divorce. Without some form of marital agreement, a divorce becomes complicated if the two spouses start engaging in a battle over dividing business ownership interest or retirement accounts.

For a prenuptial agreement to be valid, it must meet some requirements. First, of all, the agreement must be executed before the wedding. If this does not happen, a prenuptial agreement cannot exist. However, there is the option of a postnuptial agreement in this circumstance.

The next requirement is that the agreement be entered upon when both parties have legal counsel and full financial disclosure of all assets. If these requirements are met, the agreement is usually enforceable as long as there is no fraud or duress involved in the execution.

Creating Your Law That Governs Your Marriage and Beyond

At the Law Offices of Ruyle & Sims we attend to every detail of your marital agreement. That requires full disclosure by both spouses. We identify the property and assets owned, and we determine if spousal support will be needed. An attorney can help you create the groundwork for an amicable divorce, but hopefully you never need to use this agreement.

Post-Divorce Litigation

Careful preparation goes into the finalization of a divorce decree. With both sides working together in mediation or a judge ruling in litigation, resolution is found and both parties can move on with their separate lives. However, as time goes on, circumstances change that may necessitate a revisiting of the original divorce decree.

At The Law Offices of Ruyle & Sims we are dedicated to our clients and protect their rights in proceedings that modify or enforce their divorce decree. Illinois law provides that you may a modification of your support or custody rights under certain circumstances. Instances when a modification may be in order if your former spouse has lost their job, has gotten and better job, or is moving to another state. The prospect of your child moving to another state can be devastating if you enjoy a close relationship.

Looking Out for Your Best Interests Post-Divorce

At The Law Offices of Ruyle & Sims we provide the same level of dedication in post-divorce matters as we do with divorce cases. Our job is to protect our client’s rights and look out for the best interests of the children. Moves and money can bring disharmony into a peaceful, post-marital relationship. Whether we are pursuing an enforcement or modification of an existing divorce decree, we want to find the best resolution.

Other Family Law Issues

Divorce may be one of the most common family law issues, but we also handle every other legal matter that could affect the people you love. Our firm has helped clients with a full range of family law matters, including:

• Paternity disputes

• Post-decree modifications to support and custody

• Adoption Appeals

• Grandparents’ rights and visitation

• Domestic violence

• Juvenile abuse and neglect cases

Cost-Effective, Compassionate Representation

Our attorneys have experience helping clients reach family law solutions that will meet their needs for today and the future. We know that divorce can be expensive, and we work to keep costs low for our clients. Call 217-854-3283 (toll free 888-308-7536) or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation at our office.


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