When one or both parties in a marriage determine that there is no way to repair the issues that hurt the marriage and remain together, divorce is the right choice. Though some couples choose to stay together despite being unhappy and potentially in unhealthy situations, nobody benefits from this type of arrangement.
In Illinois, the spouse who wishes to end his or her marriage files a Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage with the circuit court of the county where he or she lives or the county where his or her former partner resides. In order to file for divorce, an individual must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days.
In Illinois, all divorces are no-fault divorces. There is an option for a more streamlined divorce known as a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, which is available for couples who meet certain requirements, such as less than $10,000 in assets and being married for no longer than eight years.
In a divorce, the couple’s marital assets are divided equitably. Separate assets, which include assets obtained through inheritance and assets owned before entering the marriage, are not divided in a divorce. The court uses a variety of factors outlined in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to determine an appropriate, equitable division of the property. These factors include:
If a couple has children, their children’s care following the divorce must also be worked into their settlement through a parenting plan and a child support order. The court develops a timesharing plan and assigns parental responsibilities based on what it determines to be in the children’s best interest. Factors is considers when making these determinations include the child’s relationship with each parent, each parent’s willingness to cooperate with the other parent and the court, and the child’s personal needs. Child support is determined according to each partner’s income and the amount of time the child spends in each household under his or her parenting plan.
Spousal maintenance can also be part of a divorce settlement. This is money paid from the higher earning spouse to the lower earning spouse, generally for a fixed period of time following the divorce. This money is meant to give the lesser earning spouse a financial safety net until he or she can reenter the workforce.
Learn more about the divorce process and what you can expect from it based on your specific circumstances by scheduling a legal consultation with an experienced divorce lawyer. Contact The Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. today to start working with our firm.