Divorce is the process of legally dismantling a marriage. It can be a fairly straightforward process if the couple was not married long, had few assets, and can agree to the terms of their divorce settlement. When a couple cannot work together to develop a divorce settlement or had a long marriage that sprouted many assets, a divorce can take longer to complete.
In Illinois, one must have resided in the state for at least 90 days in order to file for divorce. The document that begins the divorce process is known as the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This document is filed with the circuit court of the county where the filer or his or her spouse lives, if they live in different counties.
In Illinois, all divorces are no-fault divorces as of 2016. This means that couples no longer have the option to cite a reason other than “irreconcilable differences” for their divorces.
A couple’s final divorce settlement has many components. In every Illinois divorce, there is the equitable division of the couple’s marital assets. These are the assets the couple obtained during the marriage and those that changed in value due to the couple’s combined efforts, like a home purchased prior to the marriage that both parties’ income paid to renovate and establish equity within. Marital assets are divided according to a set of factors that include:
When a couple has children, a child support order and parenting plan are also part of the divorce settlement. Child support is determined using a formula that considers both parents’ incomes and the amount of time each parent has with the children. A parenting plan outlines the time the children spend in each household after the divorce and each parent’s responsibilities. This is developed using a set of factors to determine the child’s best interest, which include:
In some cases, spousal maintenance is also part of the divorce settlement. This is money paid to protect the spouse who sacrificed his or her career to care for the couple’s home and children from suffering financially after the divorce. Generally, spousal maintenance is paid for a fixed period of time.
Contact The Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. today to set up your initial consultation with an experienced divorce lawyer at our firm. We are here to answer all of your questions about divorce and act as your advocate through each stage of the divorce process. Do not wait to start working with a lawyer – contact our firm today.