Getting divorced can be complicated. Depending on the length of your marriage, whether you have children, the assets you and your spouse own, and whether you signed a prenuptial agreement, your divorce can be a relatively straightforward process or it can be a lengthy, stressful one. Your relationship with your spouse and your ability to work amicably with him or her also plays a role in determining the stress level of your divorce. Some couples divorce through alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation and collaborative law. Others must litigate their divorces in order to reach a fair settlement.
There are two types of property an individual can own: singly-held property, which is all property he or she owned prior to entering a marriage, and marital property, which is property obtained or developed during the marriage. The only exception to this is property obtained by a married individual as a gift or through inheritance. Property obtained this way is singly-held property as well.
In Illinois, a divorcing couple’s property is divided according to the doctrine of equitable distribution. This means that it is divided according to each partner’s individual and financial needs following the divorce, rather than being split down the middle. A few of the factors considered to determine these needs include:
If you have children, their parenting time arrangement and child support order must be determined as part of your divorce process.
Child support is the money paid from one parent to the other to help with the costs of raising a child. For most families, Illinois’ child support formula is sufficient to create a fair child support order. In cases where a family has a significant income disparity, special needs, or an income much higher or lower than average, this formula may be adjusted.
Parenting time is the time the children spend with each parent. Parental responsibilities refer to the rights each parent has to make important decisions for their children, such as those about their religious upbringing. These determinations are made with the children’s best interest in mind, which may require the court to consider the following:
In some divorces, one spouse seeks spousal maintenance as part of his or her divorce settlement. This option exists for individuals who chose lower-paying work or even to not work at all to focus on their household and children. Often, spousal maintenance is paid for a set period of time to allow the receiving spouse to complete the necessary job training or education to become self-sufficient. But in some cases, permanent maintenance is awarded.
If you are considering filing for divorce, contact our team of experienced divorce lawyers at Sabuco, Beck, Hansen & Massino, P.C. to schedule your initial consultation with us. During your consultation, we can go over the divorce process with you and answer any questions you have. Every divorce is unique and if there are special considerations at play in your divorce, such as your military service or your child’s special needs, we can help you prepare for the specific divorce challenges you will face.
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