Divorce is never easy. While every divorce follows its own unique path based on the circumstances involved, there are some divorce basics that apply across the board. Understanding the major components that make up an Illinois divorce can help you proceed with greater confidence and less trepidation. If you are facing a divorce, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced Chicago divorce law firm.
One of the primary concerns of parents going through a divorce that involves children is the continued well-being of those children. In Illinois, child custody refers to both legal custody and physical custody, which is also known as residential custody. Generally, both parents share legal custody and are, therefore, both responsible for making important decisions related to their children’s education, religious upbringing, health care, and extracurricular activities.
Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to the parent with whom the children live. While physical custody can be shared equally, it is not uncommon for one parent to have primary physical custody and the other parent to have a visitation schedule.
You and your spouse are both responsible for supporting your children post-divorce. Child support is calculated according to state guidelines that are based upon both parents’ incomes and the amount of time the children spend with each party.
If you are divorcing, you and your spouse will be dividing the property and other assets that you acquired together as a married couple. Any assets acquired by the parties during the marriage will be considered a marital asset, and will be distributed equitably between the parties. Separate assets that you brought into the marriage with you or received as gifts or inheritances in your name only during the course of your marriage, can remain with each party as long as they were not co-mingled with marital assets.
In Illinois, these marital assets – as well as marital debts – are divided in a manner that is equitable rather than equal. This means that your marital assets won’t necessarily be divided right down the middle but, instead, will reflect what the court deems fair. Many factors can play a role in this determination, but in the State of Illinois, marital misconduct does not factor in (unless it involves financial misconduct).
Spousal maintenance is by no means a given in an Illinois divorce. A variety of important considerations go into determining whether spousal maintenance is deemed appropriate – and if so, the amount and duration. These considerations typically include:
If you’re facing a divorce, the dedicated legal team at The Law Offices of George M. Sanders – a reputable and well-established Chicago divorce law firm – is committed to helping you obtain a divorce that protects you and your children’s rights into the future. We’re on your side, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today.