Divorce is a complicated legal process that is also extremely sensitive to the involved parties. The fact is that the outcome of your divorce will have lasting overarching effects in your life, and, if you have children, your children’s lives. If you are facing a divorce, the potential consequences are far too important not to obtain the professional legal counsel of an experienced Chicago divorce attorney.
Illinois’s divorce laws were updated in recent years. Divorces in Illinois are now strictly no-fault. This means that you can no longer pursue a divorce based on your spouse’s marital misconduct. Instead, every divorce is based on irreconcilable differences. The law sets out specific requirements for divorcing couples, such as resolving a number of issues including child custody and child support, the division of marital property, and spousal maintenance.
An important concern of every divorcing couple with children is the child custody arrangement that will get put into place. Illinois has revised the approach to custody by replacing the general catchall of legal custody with the more flexible approach of allocation of parental responsibilities. With respect to where the children live, the court’s are more interested in the concept of shared parenting and have replaced the concept of visitation with parenting time. The allocation of parental responsibilities refers to which parent makes important decisions on behalf of the children, which including:
The preference is that parents share legal decision making custody. If you and your divorcing spouse are capable of communicating in an effective way with respect to the children, you’ll likely share these parental responsibilities. If two divorcing parents are incapable of effectively making joint decisions, a court will grant decision making power to one parent. Parenting time refers to who the child is living with at any given time, and many parents share equally physical time with their child. Sometimes, one parent might provide the children with their primary home while the other parent has a parenting schedule.
The State of Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property will be divided between the two divorcing parties. The court will look at a number of factors when determining what is an equitable distribution. Determining what constitute marital property and how marital property should be distributed can raise many complex and difficult issues.
Under current Illinois law, maintenance is determined pursuant to a fairly detailed statutory framework. The goal of the new law was to make the process of calculating maintenance more transparent and consistent. While the court will almost certainly use the new statutory framework, it can under certain conditions deviate from a simple application of the framework. Overall, Illinois courts will look at a variety of factors that include, for example:
The outcome of your divorce will have serious consequences for you and your children in your post-divorce lives. Allow the dedicated divorce lawyers at The Law Offices of George M. Sanders in Chicago to help protect your rights throughout the divorce process. Our experienced legal team is here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today.