Coming to the decision to divorce can take months and even years before you decide to take the necessary legal steps to end your marriage. Perhaps you and your spouse slowly grew apart or you have been unhappy for a long time. Regardless of the details of your union, getting divorced can be a very challenging process, even if both of you were willing to compromise. If you and your spouse have a great deal of conflict, this only exacerbates the legal proceedings. If children are involved, emotions can run even higher, so managing this situation requires strategy. An experienced divorce attorney can help protect your rights every step of the way.
Managing the Stress of it All
Under Illinois divorce law, a couple can reach their own agreement regarding property division, spousal support, and parental responsibilities. However, if they disagree on any issues, they will have to go to court and a judge will make determinations based on several factors, such as what is in the best interest of any children....
Many married couples stay together “for the sake of the kids” even though they are unhappy in their marriage. However, studies show that children do not benefit from living in a household filled with anger, resentment, or tension. They do, however, thrive when both parents are involved and engaged in their lives. This type of parental relationship can be accomplished even when parents decide to legally end their marriage and divorce. Although co-parenting after divorce can be challenging, an alternative option is a parallel parenting plan, which can provide a shared parenting arrangement that benefits everyone.
Illinois Parenting Time
In Illinois, divorcing parents can determine the allocation of parenting responsibilities if they agree to the terms. Similar to the traditional co-parenting method, parallel parenting involves limited direct contact between the parents. This approach can be ideal in high-conflict divorces where parents have difficulty communicating with each other in a civil manner. If parents choose to try parallel parenting, they may change to a co-parenting model in the future as conflict subsides and they are able to get along better....
Often found in the business world, commingled assets refer to mixing personal funds with business funds or using business assets for personal reasons. Commingling of funds or assets can also occur between two spouses, making it difficult to determine which funds and/or assets belong to whom in a divorce. For example, it can be hard to distinguish when one spouse’s separate property is mixed with the other spouse’s marital property. However, this is crucial to ensure that each party receives his or her fair share of the marital estate.
Under Illinois law, marital property is divided using the equitable distribution method, which means items or assets are not necessarily split in half, but rather in a fair way. Marital property is generally considered property that was acquired during the course of the marriage. Non-marital or separate property is that which one spouse owned prior to getting married or acquired during the marriage through gift or inheritance. Separate property is not subject to division in the divorce settlement....
The decision to divorce can be a long and winding road, often taking a couple many years to come to terms that their relationship is not working. Part of the anxiety of divorcing involves the fear of the unknown. The transition from being married to being single may seem daunting and overwhelming. If you have children, that can further complicate matters, and you may worry about the toll the divorce will take on them. You likely have a million thoughts running through your head and a long to-do list as you start the next chapter of your life. Disregarding your physical and emotional health during this tumultuous time can be easy to do. However, make it a priority as you navigate this new future for you and your children.
Focusing on the Future
A divorce has been compared to a death in the sense that it is a great loss that results in feelings of grief and sadness. This may cause you to be depressed and engage in harmful coping behaviors such as drinking, drugs, or compulsive shopping. You may overeat or not eat at all, sleep too much, or have insomnia because you are so distraught. The stress of divorce combined with lifestyle changes can put you at risk of serious health complications. Studies have shown that divorced people are approximately 20 percent more likely to suffer from life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, or even cancer. That is why it is especially important to be mindful of what you put into your body, even if it may seem like a “quick fix” or provide instant relief....
Getting a divorce can be one of the most difficult decisions of someone’s life. In some cases, couples may put it off if they have children because they cannot bear the thought of not seeing their kids all of the time. Parents also might worry about the negative impact the split may have on the children. However, studies show that youngsters are resilient and often handle major life transitions better than adults. Also, if spouses are unhappy, constant conflict and arguing in front of the kids does not do anyone any good, causing a lot of stress and anxiety. Learning to share parenting time can be challenging, but an experienced attorney can help you and your ex-spouse achieve a co-parenting arrangement that works for everyone.
Making the Most of Your Time Together
In Illinois, divorced parents must create a parenting plan that outlines living arrangements and shared time with the children as well as how decisions will be made regarding education and healthcare. Depending on your situation, you and your ex might be able to mutually agree on the details of your parenting plan. If you have difficulty coming to an agreement, the court will become involved, and a judge will make decisions for you. In any case, they will consider several factors to make determinations based on what is in the best interest of their children....
When people hear the word divorce, they might automatically think a couple is fighting to the bitter end with a lot of drama and chaos. Although that can be the case, it is possible for some couples to end their marriage amicably and without conflict. This can be especially important when children are involved, since they may have a difficult time understanding why their family unit as they know it is over. Regardless, there are still many decisions to make in an Illinois divorce. In an uncontested divorce, couples do not have to go to court to resolve these issues.
Retains a Level of Control and Privacy
As is the case in most other states, an uncontested divorce in Illinois means a dissolution arrangement in which both spouses agree to divorce without objections. Both spouses generally accept the major terms, and there is no need to hash out the details in court and have a judge make the determinations in a public forum. A few of the main terms that need to be negotiated by couples before a divorce is finalized include:...
Although most people enter into marriage thinking it will last “til death do us part,” not all unions make it that far. Whether a couple has simply grown apart or infidelity played a role, spouses may choose to legally end their marriage. In Illinois, the only reason for divorce is “irreconcilable differences,” which basically means the relationship has suffered an irretrievable breakdown and there is no hope for reconciliation. If a couple has children together, there are many issues that will need to be resolved before the divorce is final, including the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) and parenting time (visitation). Co-parenting can pose its challenges even when ex-spouses get along well, but it can become downright combative if you and your ex harbor bitterness or anger toward each other. These feelings often end up being manifested through the children in what is called parental alienation syndrome.
Recognizing Alienating Behaviors
Parental alienation takes place when one parent attempts to disrupt his or her children’s relationship with their other parent. Unfortunately, it can be common after divorce, but it may happen gradually, so noticing the signs of this type of behavior is crucial before it gets out of hand....
The reasons for divorce vary, from infidelity to lack of common interests to substance abuse and domestic violence. Regardless of why a couple decides to part ways, if they have children, the spouses will be somewhat connected for years to come whether they like it or not. Co-parenting can have its challenges, especially during these trying times. “Birdnesting” or “nesting” in a divorce or separation occurs when parents take turns staying in the family home. Rather than making the children travel back and forth between two households, the kids stay put and the parents trade off being in the home for their scheduled parenting time. This type of arrangement can help children cope with the divorce and alleviate some of the stress commonly associated with this major life transition.
In the Children’s Best Interests
According to Illinois divorce law, spouses are allowed to come up with their own agreements in regard to financial and child-related issues, such as spousal support (alimony), parental responsibilities (child custody), and parenting time (visitation). These issues must be officially documented in what is called a parenting plan. In this legally binding document, any decisions made are outlined for both parties to follow once the divorce is final....
Figuring out how to co-parent after your Illinois divorce can be challenging to say the least, especially during a pandemic. Our way of life has changed dramatically since last March when many states issued stay-at-home orders to stop the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus. Non-essential businesses were closed, and students have been e-learning from their homes. Although employees in certain industries may also be able to work from home now, our new normal presents different challenges. For example, parents of younger children might have a hard time monitoring their online activities if they have to participate in teleconferences or Zoom video calls during the day for their jobs. With the upcoming holidays, kids will be on extended breaks from school, so that means divorced parents will likely have to figure out new co-parenting arrangements.
Patience and Cooperation
Learning how to co-parent with an ex-spouse involves a willingness to compromise and be flexible. In some cases, if a child is exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19, he or she may have to quarantine at one parent’s house for 10-14 days. This can disrupt an original parenting time schedule. However, for everyone’s health and safety, both parents need to be cooperative and understanding when plans change. In Illinois divorce cases, transporting children between homes is considered “essential travel,” but everyone’s best interests should still be considered, too....
Unfortunately, not all couples live happily ever after. The latest statistics show that approximately 40-50 percent of all U.S. marriages end in divorce. During these challenging times of COVID-19, many people have been spending more time than usual at home. This can be a blessing and a curse depending on the situation. For some families, quality time together has strengthened their relationships. For others, though, it may have exposed underlying problems within their unions. Regardless of the reasons that two people choose to dissolve their marriage, there are certain steps that must be completed before they can walk away. There are many things that may cause delays in finalizing your divorce, so it is important to be patient. An experienced divorce attorney can help you navigate this complex process.
A divorce that involves children is inherently more complicated than one without kids simply because there are fewer issues to resolve. When a couple has children together, decisions must be made regarding what is in the children’s best interests and what meets their basic needs. In Illinois, child support is calculated using the Income Shares model based on both parents’ net incomes. However, child custody and visitation may be worked out between parents if they can agree on an arrangement. However, coming up with a mutually agreeable schedule can be difficult since both parents often want as much time with their children as possible. Figuring out who gets the kids on what holidays and during the summer or school breaks can be challenging....
Making the decision to file for divorce can be very painful and full of emotions. There are a multitude of reasons why a couple may ultimately split, including infidelity, financial problems, domestic violence, or simply growing apart. One factor that can lead a spouse to seek the dissolution of his or her marriage is if the other spouse has an addiction or substance abuse problem. This can include an addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or even shopping. Behavior of this kind is often caused by a mental illness such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, bipolar disorder, and more. It can be especially difficult for the addict to accept the fact that his or her marriage is over, which can cause a lot of conflict during the divorce process. If you are considering legally ending your marriage, it is important to seek professional legal counsel if your spouse becomes combative in any way.
People who are addicted to controlled substances exhibit certain behaviors that make it difficult for loved ones to interact with them. Addicts can be functional or dysfunctional depending on the severity of their abuse. They may not only pose a danger to themselves but to those around them or even strangers. For example, an addict can become violent and physically or verbally abusive after a binge. In addition, if someone gets behind the wheel of a car and is drunk or high, that impairment can cause an accident with injuries to other motorists on the road....
Divorces can be difficult, even under the best of circumstances, such as when both spouses come to the mutual decision to part ways. Dividing up property and assets may have its challenges, and in some cases, subpoenas might be necessary during the discovery phase of your divorce. This part of the process involves full financial disclosure by each spouse of all marital and non-marital assets and the income you both earn. If you believe your spouse is not being completely honest, an attorney can use various methods to uncover the truth. According to Illinois law, attorneys are allowed to issue subpoenas, which are basically formal requests from attorneys. The recipients of these legal documents must comply with them by law. The term subpoena means “under penalty.” Subpoenas can play crucial roles in ensuring both spouses receive their fair share of the marital estate.
In order to initiate a divorce in Illinois, one spouse must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The receiving spouse (respondent) is required to file a response to the petition. Both parties need to make sure their divorce papers are filed with the court and properly served or delivered to the other spouse. Next, either side can serve discovery requests and the court can issue orders regarding the disclosure of pertinent information and documents....
If you are facing the possibility of a divorce, you and your spouse will need to address a number of important considerations along the way. For example, one or both of you will likely need to find someplace to live. If the two of you have children together, a parenting plan will need to be developed that includes arrangements for the allocation of parental responsibilities and each parent’s parenting time. Simply adjusting to everyday life as a single person is likely to present challenges in and of itself. However, many of the most difficult concerns in any divorce tend to focus on a couple’s finances, including how their marital property will be split and whether either spouse should expect spousal support payments.
Property Division and Maintenance Considerations
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) provides that decisions about money and property in an Illinois divorce are to be made based on the circumstances of each unique case. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse cannot come to a settlement agreement, it will be up to the court to identify and divide the marital estate, as well as to decide if there is a need for spousal support – known in the law as “maintenance.” In making these decisions, a family court judge is required by law to consider a variety of factors related to each. Such factors include:
- Each spouse’s income, earning capacity, and available resources
- The role each spouse played during the marriage, how that role affected the value of the marital property, and its effect on the earning ability of the other spouse
- How long the marriage lasted and the standard of living established in the marriage
- How maintenance and allocated property will affect each spouse’s tax obligations
- How parenting responsibilities are being divided
- Any valid agreements between the spouses, including prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
Putting the Pieces Together
Illinois law also directs a presiding judge to take into account the overall financial situation present during the marriage, as well as in the pending divorce. It is important to recognize that the asset division process and spousal support determinations are not independent considerations. In fact, the law specifies that each might affect the other. For example, if you have asked for spousal support in your divorce, and the court is deciding on how to divide your marital estate, the judge is statutorily obligated to consider whether property should be given to you “in lieu of or in addition to maintenance.”...
Divorce is an extremely emotional process that will affect almost every aspect of your life. The financial impact of divorce can leave some recently divorced individuals unsure of how to proceed. Getting a divorce is expensive and you may find that you have a much tighter budget afterward as well as additional ongoing costs, such as spousal maintenance or child support. When going through a divorce, it is crucial to take important steps that will protect your finances and help you start off your new life on the right foot.
Document All Marital Property
Illinois is an equitable distribution state that means that property in a divorce is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. A judge will consider a number of factors when dividing marital property including the contribution of each spouse to the marriage, financial stability, and other factors. Marital property includes any assets that were obtained by the couple during the marriage. It is important to document all assets, debts, and other marital property so you can ensure all assets are accounted for....
If you are getting a divorce, you must make decisions based on reliable information. Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding divorce in Illinois and the various issues people face during the process, such as child custody, visitation, and the division of marital assets. When going through the divorce process, recognize the common divorce myths that you may hear and understand the truth behind them.
You Must Prove Fault in a Divorce
When first considering divorce, you may think that you have to prove your spouse is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Oftentimes, the ending of the marriage is not anyone’s fault, people simply fall out of love or want to go in different directions. Fortunately, the only type of divorce you can file in Illinois is known as a no-fault divorce, which means you only have to state that the marital relationship has broken down and there is no chance of reconciliation. So, even if neither you nor your spouse was at fault for the divorce, you can still file to legally end your marriage....
Divorce can be an emotional process, and it also involves a wide variety of legal issues that can be difficult to understand. Both of these factors can cause people to make mistakes that may not only result in unfavorable decisions, but they can also make the divorce process more expensive. If you are going through a divorce, avoiding the following mistakes is crucial in order to protect your financial interests and future.
The stress of separating from your partner, when combined with the anger, sadness, or resentment you may be feeling, can result in fights that will not help your case. For example, you may argue about certain marital property based on a desire to win arguments with your spouse rather than out of a real need to keep these assets. Doing this can draw out the divorce process unnecessarily, resulting in higher costs that may leave you in a more difficult financial position following your divorce. While you may have to fight for what is rightfully yours, you should be sure to understand when these types of disputes will be necessary, and when they will be financially beneficial....
Many states have adopted a no-fault system for divorce. This means that when one spouse wants to get divorced, he/she does not have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong. One spouse simply states that there was a breakdown in the marital relationship and attempts to reconcile would not be in the best interests of the family.
Those in Illinois wanting to divorce may wonder whether the process of filing for divorce is this simple. Fortunately, Illinois law allows for no-fault divorces. If you are considering divorce, there are some issues you should consider before filing your divorce petition.
Grounds for Divorce in Illinois
In the past, Illinois law allowed a person to state that his/her spouse was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. The law recognized a number of grounds for divorce, including:...
Even if your marriage has broken down, you may not want to go through the long, drawn-out process of divorce. You know you will have to see your ex in many unpleasant circumstances, and you may want to avoid interacting with him or her altogether. If you are in an abusive relationship, this can be a particularly important issue.
You may have heard about the possibility of getting a divorce through the newspaper in which you simply publish the divorce announcement and have your marriage dissolved. Is this true, though? Can you really just publish that you want a divorce in a newspaper and have the process finalized? While this may be possible in Illinois, the process of doing so is not easy, and you will have to meet several criteria before you start paying for that ad space.
What You Need to File Through Publication
In a few rare cases, you can get divorced through a publication in the newspaper in Illinois. Before you do so, you will need to file a petition for divorce with the court, ask the judge to allow you to serve the divorce papers through publication, and then prove why you need to do so....