Practical Tips and Options to Get Divorced
Divorce reaches every aspect of a person's life, and often requires adjustments in both behavior and outlook to make the transition possible. People tend to focus on the legal procedure, since divorce has such a pivotal role in finalizing the outcome, but this tendency can make addressing the practical issues of divorce more difficult, as well as ways of approaching the divorce process itself.
The purpose of divorce is to legally end a marriage, but the route taken to arrive at that point does not necessarily need to involve a drawn out, highly-litigated case, though litigation is sometimes necessary. Other, less contentious options are available and worth exploring for some couples.
While escaping the difficulties of divorce is impossible, some experiences and challenges are almost universal truisms that may be helpful to keep in mind. First and foremost, divorce is not unique. Many people have walked the same path, though the path does take courage and conviction. Further, divorcing couples tend to focus on what they want immediately and over the coming months, instead of the long-term.
The consequences of divorce are likely to reverberate for the rest of one's life, so making decisions with an eye towards what a person will need in 10 years, for example, is more likely to produce a result that better serves his or her interests.
Communicate with the divorce attorney about the issues/goals that are most important, and make efforts to reach as many as possible. However, try to align the goals with reality so a drawn-out battle is not the only method to achieving those goals.
Finally, search for a divorce attorney who is willing and able to engage in an alternative divorce process to settle issues amicably, but knows when and how to litigate if necessary.
Why Marriage Matters and Methods to Divorce
With all the legal and financial complications of divorce, just living together may seem like a simpler and cleaner option. However, these individuals miss out on key benefits and protections offered by marriage, regardless of the number of years spent together or the financial contribution of either partner.
The Illinois Supreme Court recently issued a decision that found a cohabitating couple was not entitled to equitable property distribution, despite sharing years, three children, and financial/career sacrifices together. Consequently, if marriage is a state a couple wants to avoid, they should, at the very least, consult with a family law attorney about drafting a cohabitation agreement to cover the issues normally handled in divorce in case the relationship ends.
When engaging in the divorce process and sorting out child custody, support, property division and the like, conflict is not always necessary. Several alternative divorce procedures exist that can settle outstanding issues without the time, expense and animosity that typically follows Court involvement. The two principal methods for divorcing under more civil circumstances are mediation and collaborative divorce.
Mediation involves the parties and their attorneys working with a neutral third party, the mediator, to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. This arrangement will work if the parties are willing to compromise, but still desire a buffer to facilitate agreement.
Collaborative divorce is the least divisive divorce method, and is actually designed to be completely non-adversarial and civil. Parties communicate directly with one another, but both are represented by specially-trained collaborative divorce attorneys to ensure the agreement is fair and balanced. Exploring these alternatives could allow for an easier and less messy divorce.
Contact an Illinois Divorce Attorney
Divorce is an overwhelming time, but the legal process does not need to be. Working with an experienced Inverness divorce attorney can take some of the unnecessary stress off your shoulders, and put this responsibility on someone trained to handle these matters.
The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson P.C. can help you with contested and uncontested divorces, as well as alternative procedures, such as collaborative divorce, so you can choose the option that makes the most sense for you and your family. Contact the Palatine office for a free initial consultation.