Arlington heights divorce lawyerEach state handles divorce slightly differently. Furthermore, divorce laws frequently change to better reflect the needs of modern families. Updates and modifications to divorce laws can make it difficult for some divorcing spouses to know which laws apply to them. The changes can also lead well-meaning friends and relatives to offer outdated or inaccurate divorce advice. If you are thinking about divorce, read on to learn about the grounds for divorce in 2022.

Illinois is Now a No-Fault State

The term “grounds” refers to the legal justification for an action. When someone files for divorce, he or she is effectively asking the Court to grant him or her a divorce. The person who files, called the petitioner, will need to list the ground on which he or she is basing his or her request.

Prior to 2016, Illinois had both fault-based and no-fault-based grounds for divorce. Fault-based grounds for divorce included things like adultery, habitual drunkenness, and mental cruelty. However, Illinois has since abolished all fault-based grounds for divorce and is now a no-fault divorce state.  


palatine divorce lawyerGetting engaged to be married is one of the most exciting life experiences a person can have. If you are newly engaged, congratulations! You probably have a million things on your mind right now. You may be thinking about wedding plans, moving in with your partner, starting a family, and much more. You may also be thinking about whether you and your spouse should sign a prenuptial agreement. Premarital agreements or "prenups" offer numerous benefits to spouses. However, prenups are not exactly romantic. Bringing up the idea of a prenuptial agreement to your partner can be awkward. There is no way to eliminate the awkwardness entirely, but the following tips may help.

Make Sure You Both Understand The Benefits of a Prenup  

Prenuptial agreements should benefit both parties in a marriage. These valuable legal tools can help you identify which assets and debts are marital and which are non-marital. This is very useful if either spouse has significant assets such as a business or professional practice. Prenups are also useful if one spouse has significant debts such as credit card debt or student loans. You can also use a prenuptial agreement to describe a spouse's right to spousal maintenance, keep family heirlooms in the family, and much more.

Think of a Prenuptial Agreement Like an Auto Insurance Policy

If you drive a car, you probably have auto insurance. Having insurance does not mean that you are more likely to get into a crash or that you are an unsafe driver. Insurance exists to provide financial security in the event of a crash. Similarly, signing a prenuptial agreement does not mean that the spouses intend to divorce or lack faith in their marriage. A prenuptial agreement can be thought of as an insurance policy that goes into effect if the marriage ends in divorce or the death of a spouse.


Posted on in Divorce

palatine divorce lawyerThe end of a marriage is always sad. However, many separated and divorced people also see divorce as an opportunity for a happier future. For many divorcing couples, the split follows months, years, or even decades of a miserable marriage. Consequently, many divorcing spouses are excited about the prospect of reentering the dating world and finding someone who is a better fit for them. However, many people in this situation are also uncertain about the consequences of dating during the divorce proceedings. Can you date when you are separated but not yet divorced? Will dating affect the divorce process in any way? These are important questions that anyone considering dating during divorce should consider.

Going on Dates While Divorcing in Illinois

If you are getting divorced, you may be excited at the thought of meeting someone new. You may even already have someone special in your life other than your spouse. 

There is no law prohibiting dating during the divorce process. Technically, infidelity is a criminal offense in Illinois, but this law is not enforced, and no one has been charged with adultery for decades. Illinois is also a no-fault divorce state, so dating during divorce will not influence the grounds or reasons for the divorce. However, it is possible for dating during divorce to influence the case's outcome.


palatine divorce lawyerWhen someone passes away, they often leave an inheritance to their loved ones through their estate plan. Heirs may receive money, real estate, vehicles, jewelry, or other assets from a close friend or relative who has passed away. How is this type of property handled during divorce? Do both spouses have a right to funds or property obtained through an inheritance? What if the inheritance was acquired before the couple decided to divorce? Is there a way to protect an inheritance from being split between spouses in a divorce?

Are Assets Obtained Through Inheritance Marital or Non-Marital Property?

Divorcing spouses have the right to negotiate their own property division arrangement during a divorce. If they cannot reach an agreement about who should keep what property, the Court will be forced to intervene. Illinois Courts follow equitable distribution laws when dividing property. Property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is typically considered marital property. However, Illinois law explicitly states that property acquired by inheritance is non-marital property owned solely by the spouse who inherited it. This may seem straightforward, but determining ownership rights of property originally acquired by inheritance can be complicated in certain situations.

What Happens if Inheritance Assets Are Commingled with Marital Property?

Determining a divorcing spouse’s entitlement to inheritance assets is harder to determine when the assets are mixed with marital property.


palatine divorce lawyerIf you are getting divorced, you may have many questions and concerns about the property division process. Often, the first things that come to mind when thinking about asset division are physical assets like the home and vehicles. However, valuing and dividing complex assets like retirement accounts is often more complicated and time-consuming. Whatever age you are, retirement is likely an important concern for you. Read on to learn about how retirement plans are addressed during Illinois divorce cases.

Determining the Value of Your Retirement Plan

Divorcing couples may be able to negotiate property division and make a decision without the Court’s involvement. However, regardless of whether property division is resolved through the Court or via an out-of-Court settlement, the spouses will need to determine the value of the retirement assets first. If you or your spouse have a defined contribution retirement plan like a 401(k) or 403(b), determining the value of the retirement plan should be relatively straightforward.

Defined benefit plans like pensions are more difficult to value and divide during divorce. A pension’s value depends on the pension-holder’s total years of service to the employer and average annual income. If a spouse owns a pension but has not yet retired, determining the present value of the pension for the purposes of divorce can be quite complex and require professional appraisal.


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