Divorce is not easy. Even when the breakup itself is reasonably amicable and there is general agreement between the spouses on key issues like dividing property and alimony, there are still a number of legal issues that need to be addressed before the marriage itself is finally dissolved. In cases in which there is less agreement and more discord, the tension of divorce proceedings can quickly escalate.
If you are considering divorce–or you have already been served with papers by your estranged spouse–you need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The Chicago divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. offer compassionate, professional representation. We know that even speaking to a lawyer can be difficult. You may be afraid that hiring an attorney means you will end up in a long, drawn-out court battle. But rest assured, our only goal is to resolve your case in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
Historically, Illinois only allowed fault-based divorce. This meant that one spouse needed to accuse the other of some type of wrongdoing that led to the deterioration of the marriage, such as adultery, abandonment, or habitual drug abuse. Couples can now seek a “no-fault” divorce provided they have lived “separate and apart” for at least six months in most circumstances.
Regardless of fault, Illinois courts are required to make an equitable distribution of any property acquired during the marriage. “Equitable” does not always mean 50/50. The parties themselves can resolve any issues of property division through a negotiated or mediated settlement.
One subject the parties cannot resolve entirely on their own, however, is child custody and child support. While the parents’ (and child’s) wishes may be taken into account by the court, a judge is ultimately required to make custody determinations based on the “best interests of the child.” This requires looking at a number of factors, such as each parent’s relative physical, emotional, and financial stability, and any special needs the child might have.
Similarly, when it comes to a non-custodial parent’s obligation to pay child support, the court is bound by certain laws. Illinois maintains statewide child support guidelines that are based on each spouses’ net income.
No two divorces are the same. In some cases, the parties may be on the same page with respect to child custody but disagree sharply on how to divide property. In other scenarios, just the opposite is true. Whatever your situation, the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., is ready to get-to-work and help you address any outstanding issues related to your divorce. Call us today at 312-624-7645 to schedule an initial consultation with a qualified Chicago divorce attorney.