Sometimes, divorce is inevitable. You might have tried marital counseling, legal separation, and individual therapy to change your behaviors but despite these efforts, found that you and your spouse simply are not compatible. This is not a personal failure – people, even those who were once deeply in love, can grow in different directions.
In every Illinois divorce, the couple’s marital assets are divided according to the doctrine of equitable distribution. This means that the court uses a set of factors to determine an appropriate way to divide the assets, rather than simply cutting the marital estate in half. Factors considered include:
If one partner opted to work part time or not at all in order to care for the couple’s household and children, that partner can seek spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is money paid by the higher earning spouse to the lower earning spouse, generally for a fixed period of time, to protect him or her from financial hardship after the divorce.
For couples with children, child support and parenting plans are also part of the divorce process. A parenting plan is developed similarly to a property division agreement: the court considers a set of factors to determine the ideal scenario for the couple’s child after their divorce. These factors include:
Child support is money paid from one parent to the other to help with the costs of raising their child. This is determined using a formula that incorporates each parent’s income and their time with the child.
To file for divorce in Illinois, an individual must have resided in the state for at least 90 days. Divorce petitions are filed with the circuit court of the county where the filer or his or her spouse resides.
An individual is not required to cite a reason for his or her divorce in this paperwork. In fact, as of 2016, all Illinois divorces are “no-fault” divorces.
Couples who meet certain requirements can opt for a streamlined divorce known as a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. Requirements for this include a marital estate worth less than $10,000, a marriage of less than eight years, and no children from the marriage.
It is in your best interest to have an experienced divorce lawyer represent your case through the divorce process. Your lawyer is your advocate and your guide as you navigate the steps of your divorce. Schedule your initial consultation with The Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. today to learn more about what you can expect from the divorce process.