Tag Archives: Hinsdale divorce attorney

Dhinsdale divorce lawyerivorce and legal separation are both processes married couples can use in Illinois to bring their relationship to an end. While they share some similarities, they are not the same and have very different outcomes. The fundamental difference between the two is that divorce legally ends the marriage, but legal separation does not. While you can pursue divorce and legal separation on your own, hiring an experienced lawyer can help streamline the process and avoid costly legal mistakes. 


Divorce is a final, legally binding order that completely ends a marriage. Under Illinois law, in a divorce, all assets must be divided. Issues like child support, child custody, and spousal maintenance must be legally settled by a court or by mediation. 

Depending on how complicated the divorce is, finalizing everything can take as little as 45 days but can also take many years. The cost of the divorce also depends on how complicated or contentious the issues are. When spouses cannot agree, the court will have to intervene and make decisions for them. This requires attorneys for both parties, filing fees, and sometimes other professionals like custody evaluators or guardians ad litem. Accordingly, the cost of divorce can reach into the hundreds of thousands. 

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IL divorce lawyerPeople make mistakes and sometimes, that mistake is marrying the wrong person. When one or both people think getting married was a mistake, they often wonder if they can obtain an annulment instead of going through the complicated process of divorce. Couples are more inclined to think this when they have been married for a very short period of time.

Annulments are only available in very limited situations in Illinois. However, for couples that are ineligible for an annulment, there is another option that is sometimes a possibility. That is a joint simplified dissolution of marriage. So, what are the differences, and how does a couple qualify for either? Find out below.

Eligibility for an Annulment

The Illinois statutes do not actually refer to the word ‘annulment.’ Instead, the term ‘declaration of invalidity of marriage is used. To declare a marriage invalid is to say that it is void and essentially makes it as though the marriage never happened. Declaring a marriage invalid is only done under certain circumstances, which include:

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IL divorce lawyerOne of the most contentious aspects of the divorce process is the division of property. Many people first think of the assets they will lose during the divorce, but the fact is that debts are also divided during the process. Like the assets that are divided, only marital debt is divided during a divorce. It is not uncommon for married couples to hold joint credit cards, or have a personal loan that is in both of their names. Both spouses are also often co-signers on bigger ticket items too, such as the marital home and vehicles.

Even when one spouse is not listed as an owner on certain assets, they may still be responsible for a portion of them during the divorce. For this reason, it is important that anyone going through a divorce knows how to deal with the debt they have accumulated during the marriage.

Are You Responsible for Your Spouse’s Debts?

Under the Illinois Statutes, debts are divided during the divorce process in the same manner assets are divided. Illinois follows equitable distribution laws when it comes to debts, meaning debts are divided fairly, although not necessarily equally. When making decisions on the division of debt, a family judge will take certain factors into consideration, including:

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IL divorce lawyerHistorically speaking, the decisions made in a divorce case largely favored the woman. When spousal maintenance, or alimony, was awarded, the woman was usually the recipient. Family courts were also more likely to award the woman in a divorce case child custody, believing it was in the best interests of the child to stay with their mother. These patterns in history have led many men to believe they are already at a disadvantage before their divorce case even starts, but that is not the case.

Today in Illinois, family law judges only consider what is fair when making decisions on a divorce case. Gender is no longer a part of the decision-making process. Still, many myths surrounding men and divorce still abound in the state today. Below are the most common myths many people still believe, and the truth behind them.

Women Are Always Awarded Child Custody

The idea that women are always awarded child custody is perhaps the biggest myth involving men and divorce. At one time, this was true but today, the family court will only evaluate what is in the best interests of the child and they will make their decision based on that. Like other decisions made in a divorce case, gender is not taken into consideration when judges award one parent child custody.

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IL divorce lawyerThe divorce of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West made headlines around the world recently. There have been varying opinions about the divorce since it was announced, but one thing is certain. The divorce case is likely to be quite complex, even though the couple had a premarital agreement in place. Kim and Kanye, however, are not the first couple to go through a complex divorce, and they will not be the last, either. Below are some of the factors that can make a divorce case complex.

Distinguishing Separate Property from Marital Property

In a divorce, only marital property is divided. Marital property includes any assets or liabilities the couple acquired together during the marriage. Determining which assets are considered separate property is typically more difficult than identifying marital property. Inheritances and gifts, as well as personal injury awards, are types of property that are usually considered separate.

However, it is important that spouses keep these assets separate from marital assets, such as placing them in a separate account. Co-mingling assets makes it incredibly difficult to determine which of the assets have been spent, and how much of the separate property remains. When separate property is not kept separate, it may be subject to property division.

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