The divorce process is notorious for being emotionally grueling, expensive, and time-consuming. Fortunately, it doesn’t always have to be this way, as being represented by an experienced attorney can save you both time and money in the long run. If you are considering divorce and have questions or concerns, feel free to call one of our Will County divorce attorneys for an initial consultation.
There are certain requirements that couples must fulfill before they can file for divorce. For instance, either the petitioner or the other spouse must have lived in the state for at least three months. Furthermore, no other divorce proceedings can be pending or filed in any other county or state. If these requirements are satisfied, the petitioner can begin the process of filing for divorce by submitting a petition to the court that includes the contact information of both parties, the names, ages, and addresses of the couple’s children, details about any custody arrangements that have been made, and a confirmation that the divorce is being sought due to irreconcilable differences.
Once a petition has been served on the other spouse, both parties will be required to attend a court hearing where they must establish that:
In most cases, courts presume that the irreconcilable differences requirement is met if the parties have lived separately for six months or more prior to the proceedings. This can even apply when both spouses live in the same house, as long as they no longer live together as a married couple. In the event that the parties have children together, a dissolution will only be finalized after the family court has approved or allocated parental responsibilities and child support. Although Illinois family courts are generally in favor of awarding joint custody and an equal division of parenting responsibilities, the ultimate decision will depend on what would be in the child’s best interests.
Courts will not finalize a divorce or decide how property should be divided until both parties have submitted financial affidavits, listing each spouse’s income, debts, assets, and expenses.
Income from a variety of sources must be listed, including salaries and wages, but also tips, bonuses, commissions, rental income, inheritances, and benefits. Both parties must also list expenses, including rent, utilities, groceries, childcare-related costs, medical insurance, car payments, and gas. After disclosing all debts, including the specific amounts owed and any payments being made, the parties must list all of their assets, which includes the content of bank accounts and cash, but also tax refunds, investments, vehicles, real estate, and valuable collectibles, such as antiques. Supporting documentation must also be submitted, including pay stubs, bank statements, income tax returns, and invoices. When a court has determined that both parties’ affidavits are accurate and complete, it will divide the couple’s property equitably.
If you and your spouse are thinking about filing for divorce, please contact Sabuco Beck, P.C. at (815) 730-8860 to speak with an experienced Will County divorce attorney who is well-versed in state law and can explain your next steps.