If you have exhausted all options to try to save your marriage to no avail, divorce could be the healthiest option for every member of your family. Never feel like you should remain in an unhealthy marriage for your children’s sake – children are actually better off with divorced parents than they are in households where they are constantly exposed to their parents’ conflicts.
In Illinois, the divorce process begins when an individual files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the circuit court of the county where he or she resides or the county where his or her spouse resides, if it is different. To file for divorce in Illinois, an individual must have resided in the state for at least 90 days.
As of 2016, all divorces in Illinois are “no fault” divorces. This means that now, the only reason a couple can cite for their divorce is “irreconcilable differences.”
If the couple meets certain requirements, they can streamline the divorce process by completing a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.
Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a divorcing couple’s marital assets are divided according to the doctrine of equitable distribution. This means that a matrix of factors, such as the length of the marriage, each party’s income and non-economic contributions to the household, each party’s age and health, and the tax burdens associated with each of the couple’s assets, are considered. The assets are then distributed according to what the court determines to be appropriate based on these factors.
A divorce settlement involves more than a property settlement agreement. If the couple has children, a parenting plan and child custody order are part of the settlement.
A parenting plan is an outline of the time the child spends with each parent and each parent’s responsibilities to the child. An appropriate plan for the couple’s children is determined similarly to how their property is divided: using a set of factors that provide insight about the couple and their children’s lives. When the court creates a parenting plan, it does so with the child’s best interest as its priority. A child support order is also created using information about the parents’ incomes and the amount of time the child spends in each parent’s household. Child support money is paid from one parent to the other to help cover the expenses associated with raising a child.
In some divorces, spousal support is also part of the settlement. This is money paid from the higher earning partner to the lower earning partner to protect him or her from financial hardship after sacrificing his or her career for the family’s benefit.
Contact The Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. today to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced divorce lawyer at our firm. During your consultation, we can evaluate the facts of your case to provide you with personalized advice that can help you make productive choices about your divorce.