Tag Archives: DuPage County divorce lawyer

IL divorce attorneyTypically, at least one spouse knows the marriage is headed for divorce before anyone actually files divorce papers. As the prospect of divorce becomes more of a reality, it is then natural for that spouse to wonder if they should file first, or if it matters.

Technically, Illinois is a no-fault divorce state. This means that one spouse does not have to prove the other person did anything wrong or was the reason the marriage broke down. One spouse must only have to state that there was a breakdown in the marital relationship and that there is little to no chance of reconciling. As such, many spouses think that it does not matter which person starts the proceedings. However, for spouses considering divorce, there are advantages in being the first to file.

Better Preparation

Divorce often comes as a surprise to many people, but that is obviously not the case for the person that files first. By eliminating that element of surprise, the spouse that files first can collect copies of all the important financial documents that are needed during a divorce. These can include bank and investment account statements, life insurance policies, titles to property, and more. Being the first to file also allows spouses to save money, or apply for credit that can help them through the divorce process.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorces that go through litigation take longer and are often more expensive than divorces that settle out of court. Unfortunately, sometimes there is no other option. Although the term ‘trial’ often has people imagining lawyers battling it out and yelling at each other, that does not actually happen. So, if your divorce must go to trial, what can you expect? Below are the basics of what will happen in any divorce trial in Illinois, so you can know what to expect if that is where yours is headed.

When Is a Trial Necessary in Divorce?

There is a good chance that during the divorce proceedings, one or both spouses may have to go to court. These are usually hearings though, and not an actual trial. A trial is only necessary when the spouses cannot agree on terms such as maintenance or child support.

When the couple cannot agree to all the terms of a divorce and it goes to trial, a judge will make the final decision on those terms. This is one reason why couples often try to avoid litigation but again, that is not always possible.

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IL divorce lawyerNo one wants to go through a divorce that drags on for months at a time. The chances are, if you are going through a divorce, you want it over and finalized as quickly as possible. Truthfully, there is no way to tell how long your divorce will take. It takes as long as it takes for you and your spouse to agree on all the issues, or as long as it takes a judge to come to a final decision. That being said, there are some guidelines to follow that can help you determine how long it will take for you to get your divorce finalized.

Waiting Periods in Illinois

In Illinois, there are some waiting periods that affect how long a divorce will take. If you and your spouse both agree to the divorce, you must live apart for six months prior to filing. If one of you does not agree to the divorce, that time period is extended to two years of living apart.

To file for divorce in Illinois, at least one spouse must have lived within the state for 90 days. This time period also increases to 180 days if there are children involved in the divorce.

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IL divorce lawyerIt is fairly common in a marriage for one spouse to handle money matters and the finances while the other has very little input into these things. The other spouse may also have more input into another area of family life, such as disciplining the children. When one spouse handles the majority of the finances though, it becomes even easier for them to hide assets during a divorce, and that becomes trouble for the other spouse.

Spouses hide marital assets during a divorce because they do not want them to be divided during divorce proceedings. Fortunately, if you think your spouse is hiding assets from you, there are ways you can bring those assets to light to ensure that you receive the fair settlement you deserve.

The Discovery Process

Every divorce that goes through litigation will go through the discovery process. During this process, each side must provide the other side with any information that is requested. There are several phases of the discovery process and during each one, your attorney will ask for certain information which can help you learn of hidden assets.

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IL divorce lawyerIt is true that divorce is declining across the United States, but the rates of gray divorce are increasing. Gray divorces are those that occur when a person is over the age of 50. When considering divorce as a person gets older, many think that it is going to be simpler. After all, there often are not issues such as child custody or child support to consider.

However, there are other issues to think about in gray divorce, and these issues do not come up with other types of divorces. Two main issues, in fact, are more present in gray divorces than any other. Those factors are spousal maintenance and retirement accounts.

Spousal Maintenance

Many divorces in Illinois do not involve alimony or, as the state refers to it, spousal maintenance. Maintenance is typically only awarded when the divorce is going to leave one spouse at a significant financial disadvantage. For example, if one parent stays at home to raise the children while the other advances their career, the courts will likely award the stay-at-home parent spousal maintenance so the stay-at-home parent is not left in financial hardship after the divorce. When maintenance is awarded under these circumstances, it is typically just temporary.

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