Tag Archives: filing for divorce

IL divorce lawyerAfter making the difficult decision to divorce, most people would like the entire process to be over with as soon as possible. Unfortunately, divorce is not an automatic process and in Illinois, there are two different waiting periods couples must be aware of. Individuals that wish to file for divorce must have lived in the state for a certain period of time, and then comply with the mandatory waiting period.

The Residential Requirement

The legal statute governing divorce in Illinois states that the couple must live in the state for 90 days prior to filing. In many cases, this is not an issue but there are instances in which this waiting period may present an issue. For example, if the couple has physically separated and one spouse has been living in Texas for some time, they may want to file in that state instead, particularly if laws on the terms of divorce, such as property division laws, would favor them in a different state. In this situation, it is crucial to speak to a lawyer that can help you determine where the case should be heard.

The Separation Requirement

Historically in Illinois, the couple had to separate for two years before a divorce, if a spouse filed under the no-fault divorce laws at the time. If the filing spouse had alleged fault on the part of their spouse, such as mental cruelty, that waiting period could be reduced to six months. Illinois has not operated under these laws for a long time.

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IL divorce lawyerWhen considering divorce, you are likely thinking about how it could be a long process, and the many steps you will have to take throughout it. While the actions you take during divorce will depend on the specifics of your case, there are also some things that anyone considering divorce should do before they even file. The most important of these are listed below.

Prepare Financially

You will need a lot of documentation during your divorce case. Now is the time to collect records of financial accounts, phone records, car notes, and mortgages. Many times, spouses share these documents and when that is the case, you should take photocopies of the documentation and store them in a safe place.

Be Realistic About Child Custody

If you have children, custody issues are likely to be one of your biggest concerns as you consider divorce. It is important to remember that in most cases, a judge will award both parents time with the child unless there is an extreme situation such as addiction or domestic violence. Reviewing your work schedule, your child’s schedule, and the obligations you have will greatly help you prepare for the child custody process. If you and your spouse can reach a child custody agreement that is fair, your divorce will proceed much quicker and much more smoothly.

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Il divorce lawyerFour out of 10 marriages end in divorce, with the average marriage that ends in divorce lasting seven years. As such, it is not uncommon for a married couple to come to the conclusion that their differences are irreparable, and that divorce is the best option. However, some divorces come as a surprise to one of the spouses, previously having assumed that everything was either fine, or the conflict within the marriage was manageable and possible to work through. Whether you were caught completely off guard or you suspected that divorce would be the inevitable conclusion of your marriage, an experienced divorce attorney can help you through the complex and stressful process of divorce, and protect your interests along the way.

The First Step of Divorce: Filing a Petition to Terminate the Marriage

Chances are that your spouse will file a petition for divorce (Petition for Dissolution of Marriage) with the court since he or she was the initiator of the divorce. In order to get a divorce in Illinois, at least one of the parties must have resided in Illinois for at least 90 days before filing, and if you and your spouse have children together, they must have lived in Illinois for at least six months, according to 750 ILCS 5/ Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

Temporary Orders

The next step of divorce is requesting temporary orders, if necessary. Spouses often need to figure out different living arrangements and parenting responsibilities during the six months or more that it takes a divorce to finalize. A temporary order may involve creating a parenting plan, child support, or spousal support for temporary maintenance.

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IL divorce lawyerThere are around 5,000 marriages per year in DuPage County, and there are almost half as many divorces annually, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The first step of divorce begins with what is called the petition for divorce. The petition for divorce is served by one spouse to the other. The spouse that serves the petition to the other is called the petitioner. First, they must file papers with the court, after which they are required to legally deliver, or serve, the petition to the other spouse.

What Information Does the Petition Include?

The petition for divorce generally includes all of the following information:

  • Location of marriage
  • Date of marriage
  • Names and addresses of the spouses
  • Names of children
  • Grounds for divorce
  • Statement that at least one spouse has had residency in the state for at least 90 days, allowing the divorce to take place in Illinois, as per 750 ILCS 5/401
  • Information about how the petitioner wants to settle matters such as division of marital assets, child custody, child support, and alimony

Temporary Orders

A petition for divorce may request the court to place temporary orders to help with the following:

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IL divorce lawyerYou’ve heard it said that “timing is everything.” The same idea is true for divorce. Although sometimes you have no control over when your marriage comes to an end, you can control the speed in which you file and obtain information. Divorce timing plays a large part in tax filing, but it also can give you a slight advantage during the proceedings. Find out more about filing when the time is right for you:

Make the First Move

Waiting for your spouse to file for divorce first is one of the worst mistakes you can make. There are legal benefits to being the one to initiate the process. Filing first can give you better terms from the very beginning. When a judge issues the temporary order regarding support or custody, the one who files typically has more control of the situation, allowing you to be in control while the divorce is still pending. Filing first also allows you to determine the end date of the marriage, which can protect you from any potential unnecessary expenses from a hostile ex-spouse.

Tax Considerations

When it comes to tax time, whether you file jointly or separately depends on the date you sign the divorce agreement. Typically speaking, filing a joint return usually works to your advantage and saves money. However, in some cases, you might be eager to register separately, because even if your divorce decree states that your spouse is liable for all taxes, the IRS still can hold you accountable. There are also tax consequences when dissolving a family business as a part of the property division. In fact, most tax considerations are based on the timing and duration of events throughout the year. Based on the IRS rules:

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