Category Archives: Family Law

DuPage County Divorce LawyerOnce a couple decides to get divorced, they have to resolve several issues, including spousal maintenance, marital property division, child support, and parenting arrangements. But the process of negotiating these issues is not easy, and a couple may wonder if they really want to complete the divorce process. Although most spouses may already know the marriage has permanently broken down when they file for divorce, others may wonder if they can continue down the path towards divorce if there is any chance of reconciliation. 

Illinois Divorce is No-Fault Only

While couples used to need certain justifications to get divorced, in 2016 Illinois transitioned exclusively to no-fault divorces. This means spouses do not have to prove either partner is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage - they only have to say that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and that there is no hope for reconciliation. No-fault divorce laws eliminate many of the more complex elements of proving fault and make it easier for someone to get a divorce even if their spouse does not agree. 

However, although Illinois no longer requires listing fault in a divorce, it still has certain requirements that must be met before a divorce can be finalized. One requirement, unless both spouses consent to give it up, is that a couple must live “separate and apart” for six months, proving that there is no chance of reconciliation. If a court determines that there is some possibility of reconciliation, a couple may be required to attend a conciliation conference. 

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DuPage County Divorce LawyerDivorce is a challenging process with so much at stake. Not only do divorcing couples need to resolve complex issues like child support, child custody, and spousal maintenance, but they generally want to do so as quickly as possible - all while dealing with the pressure and dynamics of a crumbling intimate relationship. Most couples in Illinois can benefit tremendously from the help of an experienced Illinois divorce attorney. Here are four issues for which having a family law attorney may be helpful to you. 

Child Issues

Parents are strongly attached to their children and their welfare, and issues related to children are understandably very contentious during a divorce. A great attorney can help parents understand their rights and responsibilities under Illinois law, and help parents negotiate a fair arrangement for their children. An attorney can also help parents understand the law around child support and set reasonable expectations regarding whether they will likely pay or receive child support. 

Spousal Maintenance

Also known as alimony or spousal support, spousal maintenance is money paid from one spouse to another after a divorce. Many people have a right to ask for spousal maintenance but do not know it; others may simply give up on asking because it seems too complicated. An attorney can help you understand whether spousal support is appropriate for your case, and can also help you negotiate with your spouse so you do not have to do it alone. 

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DuPage County Divorce LawyerSometimes the hardest part about getting a divorce is deciding, once and for all, whether you want to leave or stay. It is an intensely personal decision, and one that only you can make–but once you have made the final call, it is time to move forward with the official process. How long it takes to get divorced will depend on your unique circumstances; for some couples, it takes several months and for others it can take upwards of two years. Regardless of how long it takes, before you get started, here are some questions to ask yourself. 

Are You Eligible to File For Divorce in Illinois? 

Before anyone can file for divorce in Illinois, they must be a resident of the state. If you have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days (including military members, who must be stationed in Illinois for 90 days), you can file for divorce in the county where you and your spouse reside. In some cases, such as when you and your spouse lived in a county for your whole marriage but recently moved, you may be able to file for divorce in that county rather than the one in which you currently live.  

Do You Want a Divorce or a Legal Separation? 

Depending on your situation and your goals, you may want to file for a legal separation instead of divorce. Many of the issues are the same–both processes settle marital assets and make child custody arrangements–but a divorce permanently ends the relationship while a legal separation does not. Some people choose legal separation for religious reasons or because they are not sure whether they want to completely end the marriage. 

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Hinsdale Divorce LawyerEven the most simple DuPage County divorce can become more complicated than either spouse intends. Standard divorce procedures are often more challenging when one or both spouses refuse to compromise, fail to respond in a timely manner, or intentionally draw out proceedings. When this happens, divorce can become much more stressful, expensive, and time-consuming and there may be no simple solution. Here are three reasons divorces tend to become more complicated. 

Children’s Issues

Several issues are unique to dealing with children during divorce: child support, parental responsibilities, and parenting time have entire sections of family law dedicated entirely to dealing with them. Ideally, parents will talk together, using a mediator if necessary, and reach an agreement outside of court about how to make certain important decisions, how parenting time will be divided, and how children will be moved from household to household. 

But in real life, parents frequently have a tough time agreeing about these important issues. Even with the help of a mediator, finding a solution can prove challenging. In the most difficult cases, the court may have to intervene to help parents find an arrangement. 

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DuPage County Family Law AttorneysMost parents experience conflict as they learn to co-parent successfully after their divorce. It is not easy to raise children in two different households, especially when differences in parenting preferences contributed to the divorce in the first place. But for some parents, the situation is so volatile that they cannot work together at all. This could happen for many reasons; perhaps the relationship ended because of abuse or infidelity, or one or both spouses may manifest symptoms of narcissism. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that children can often suffer terribly when they are exposed to ongoing conflict between divorced parents. If you are in a situation like this, you may want to consider parallel parenting. 

What is Parallel Parenting? 

Parallel parenting is a term used for a strategy that requires or allows parents to completely separate their co-parenting so they keep communication to an absolute minimum. Parents do not attend meetings or appointments together, do not share in parental responsibilities (important decision-making), and will generally only communicate in writing. 

When communication is necessary, informal phone or text conversations are off the table with parallel parenting because they so often lead to conflict. Instead, parents will use email, parenting applications, and the help of a mediator when necessary. 

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