Category Archives: Family Law

Hinsdale divorce mediation lawyersA large percentage of divorces today are settled out of court, eliminating the need for an often-emotional battle in the courthouse. If you and your spouse are willing to try mediation, you may be able to save yourselves significant amounts of time and money by avoiding litigation. In many cases, the spouses are able to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement out of court, often with the help of a mediator.

Not all mediation styles are the same. You should know that you have options for how to approach the mediation process. Determining which type of mediation is right for you is an important part of the collaborative divorce process. Spouses who are more amicable may be more inclined to sit down together with their attorneys and a mediator in facilitative mediation. Spouses who are in a high level of conflict, such as those who have experienced infidelity, may struggle to have a productive mediation session if they are brought together. These spouses may opt for evaluative mediation, where the parties need not see each other. An attorney can help you decide which type of mediation may be the better option. 

What is Facilitative Mediation? 

In this style of mediation, the parties will be brought together and asked to collaborate with one another directly. You and your spouse will be joined in the mediation room by your respective attorneys and a neutral mediator. The role of the mediator is to facilitate a discussion between you and your spouse about the issues in your divorce case. The mediator does not tell you what arrangement is best, but simply guides the parties in talking about it. 

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DuPage County divorce attorneyFor many spouses who are taking the step of filing for divorce, a finalized divorce decree cannot come soon enough. You may have been contemplating seeking a divorce for some time. You may have undertaken great efforts to hold together a marriage that is no longer viable. Often, by the time a person is prepared to file a formal petition for divorce, they are also prepared for the marriage to terminate at once. Unfortunately, rarely is divorce an instantaneous process. From the day your attorney files a divorce petition on your behalf, receiving a finalized divorce decree can take anywhere from several weeks to several years.

The timeline of your divorce depends on a multitude of factors, including the method of dispute resolution you and your spouse use, the nature and extent of marital assets, and whether you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place. Our attorneys may be able to give you a better approximation of how long your divorce might take when we know more about your unique situation. 

Factors Affecting an Illinois Divorce Timeline

If you are seeking a divorce in DuPage County, a number of circumstances may have an impact on the amount of time it will take. Factors that could reduce or prolong the divorce timeline may include: 

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DuPage County divorce lawyerMany modern couples enjoy the security of a strong prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements can secure each spouse’s separate property or govern how marital property is to be divided in a divorce. For some, a legally sound prenuptial agreement can make the divorce process more expedient and less stressful. There may be very little property or money not governed by the agreement, making any negotiations of this nature generally brief. However, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements cannot settle the totality of the issues in each divorce case. The allocation of parenting time and parental responsibility cannot be predetermined by agreement. Further, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may disproportionately disfavor one party, leading to questions of enforceability. If you have a prenuptial agreement and are getting divorced, it is important to consult with a lawyer to learn more about how your contract will affect your divorce. 

Child Custody Issues Must Still be Determined

Illinois fiancés or spouses are not permitted to use their prenuptial or postnuptial agreements to predetermine child custody issues in the event of the divorce. The policy purpose here is to protect children’s best interests. A decision made years in advance - often concerning a child who does not yet exist - may not be what is best for the child. Parents must either make an agreement at the time of divorce or allow the court to decide the issue in the best interests of the children.

Some Property May Not Be Addressed

It can be difficult or impossible to predict what type of marital property you and your spouse will acquire throughout the duration of the marriage while you are still engaged or newly married. There is a substantial likelihood that there exists marital property not controlled by agreement. Any marital property falling outside the scope of the agreement will need to be divided equitably. 

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DuPage County divorce attorneyBeing married to a narcissist can feel like being caught in the web of a spider. Often, narcissists are skilled at hiding their narcissistic traits from outsiders, and they may even appear charming and polite to those who do not know them as well as their spouse would. Or, your friends and family may have quickly come to comprehend the true nature of your spouse. Indeed, social supports are of vital importance while you are in the process of undoing your marital entanglements with your narcissist spouse. There may be significant challenges on your path to a divorce decree, particularly if your spouse is displeased at being served with divorce papers. 

You and your attorney must proceed with a high level of caution, as narcissists are prone to engaging in a variety of unfair or unreasonable divorce tactics. Throughout the duration of divorce proceedings, you may encounter hurdles placed by your spouse. Securing high-quality representation should be a high priority. 

Helpful Divorce Tips for Those Married to Narcissists

While terminating your marriage to a narcissist is generally an excellent step toward a life free from abuse and improved emotional well-being, the proceedings leading up to a final decree can be difficult. Tips you may find helpful include: 

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Hinsdale divorce lawyerDivorce litigation can be a stressful affair. The hearings may go on for weeks or even months depending on the particular issues of the case. Those going through a high-asset divorce may be in and out of the courtroom for more than a year. Substantial evidence may need to be gathered, including financial records, bank statements, deeds, and more. Litigation is not an expedient method of divorce. The unpleasantness and inconvenience of litigating a divorce drive many spouses, including those who are far from amicable, to resolve their divorces through the use of cooperative divorce techniques such as mediation. 

However, settling divorce issues by mutual agreement is not always an achievable outcome. Although your spouse cannot prevent you from divorcing them, they can force a trial by refusing to sign an agreement. If you have any reason to suspect that your divorce will go to trial, it is critical that you involve a skilled attorney with courtroom experience from the outset of proceedings. 

Factors Suggesting that Litigation Is Appropriate

Wanting to express your side of the story, disparage your ex, or ensure that the fault in the breakdown of the marriage is completely placed on your spouse are not generally good reasons to proceed straight to litigation. Even if your spouse was abusive, an attorney may be able to negotiate with them or their attorney on your behalf to avoid litigation and allow you to begin building a new life more quickly. 

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