IL divorce lawyerCouples that want to get a divorce but that always want to avoid the lengthy and costly process of going through litigation will often turn to alternative dispute resolution methods, such as collaborative divorce or mediation. Both methods are extremely effective and can help the parties maintain a respectful relationship, which is important, particularly if there are children involved. However, there are differences between these two dispute resolution methods, and couples that are interested in them should know what they are.

Fees

Mediation and collaborative divorce are both less expensive than going through litigation. Of the two, collaborative divorces typically cost a little more than mediation. In a collaborative divorce, both parties are always represented by attorneys, and this is not always the case for couples going through mediation. If the attorneys cannot agree on a certain aspect of the case, such as the value of a business, they may bring experts in, which will increase the costs of a collaborative divorce.

Mediated divorces are typically less expensive, with sessions costing approximately $100 to $200 an hour. The two parties also do not have to hire an attorney, although it is strongly recommended that anyone going through a divorce is represented by legal counsel.

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IL divorce lawyerOne of the most difficult aspects of many divorce cases, particularly those that involve a long marriage, is the division of retirement accounts. Dividing these savings follows the same property division rules of the state. These accounts are divided fairly, although not necessarily equally. Dividing retirement savings in a divorce also follows a slightly different procedure and has additional rules. When a divorce involves the division of retirement accounts, it is always best to work with an Illinois divorce lawyer that can help you through the process.

Retirement Accounts as Separate vs. Marital Property

Marital property includes any assets the couple obtained together during the marriage, while separate property refers to assets a person acquired prior to the wedding. Although this concept in property division matters seems quite simple, it is not and has the potential to become quite complex, particularly when retirement accounts are involved.

Even if a person had a retirement account prior to the marriage, it is likely that some of the marital assets contributed to those investments. A lawyer must determine which percentage of the savings are separate property, and which are considered marital property.

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IL divorce lawyerEven when a divorce is mutual, the two people involved can become adversarial towards each other. Things can quickly change during a divorce case, and one side may start acting purely out of anger and frustration. When this is the case, it is important that you protect yourself by properly communicating with your spouse. This can prevent something as simple as a conversation from becoming used as evidence against you in your case.

Text and Email Whenever Possible

Using text and email during a divorce case can provide you with valuable evidence. These forms of communication will verify that you and your spouse have come to an agreement on a certain issue, or they can prove that the other side is abusive. Many people think that communicating by text or email is less personal, but this is exactly what helps keep hurt feelings out of conversations.

Do Not Always Reply Right Away

The other benefit of communicating by text or email is that you do not have to respond right away. During a divorce, something is bound to be said in the heat of the moment, particularly when discussing contentious terms such as child custody. Taking some time to cool off and think about how you should reply can be very beneficial, and help you get what you want in the end.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce is sometimes a bitter and contentious legal battle, with each party fighting over every single term. It does not always have to be this way, though. In fact, in many cases, the couple is able to get through the process amicably and even co-parent their children civilly once they are apart. Although an amicable divorce is what most people strive for when they start the process, it is not the same thing as an uncontested divorce. From a legal standpoint, it is very important to understand the difference.

What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is one in which the couple agrees to the terms of the divorce. They are able to enter into an agreement about property division, child support, maintenance, and all other terms. In an uncontested divorce, each party enters into the agreement without needing to go through mediation or litigation.

Uncontested divorces have many benefits for couples. The process is much shorter, and much less expensive, and gives the two spouses total control over the process. However, when a couple disagrees on even one term of the case, it then becomes a contested divorce, even if it is an amicable one.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce is expensive. Most people entering the process understand that. However, although many people associate the cost of divorce with attorney fees, spousal maintenance, and child support, there are other costs of divorce, as well. These are often the somewhat hidden costs that people do not realize they will have to face until they have already gone through the process. Below are the six biggest hidden costs that you should prepare for if you are about to get a divorce.

Moving Costs

Both spouses do not remain in the home after a divorce and few, if any, people even want to. As such, you must consider the cost of a new home, including the expense of moving your belongings from one place to another. Moving can cost a lot, so it is important to research what rental properties cost in the area you want to move to, or the local housing market, if you want to purchase another property.

A New Home Loan

If you are remaining in the marital home but both you and your spouse are named on the mortgage, you will have to take out a new mortgage. It is important to consider how much your new mortgage payment will cost and if you can handle the other costs of homeownership, such as paying property taxes and upkeep.

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