If your marriage is no longer a healthy one, consider filing for divorce. A divorce is not a personal failure or a sign that you cannot maintain a healthy marriage; it is simply a tool to ensure that if you do choose to end your marriage, your rights and your spouse’s rights will be protected.
A divorce does not have to be a contentious, drawn-out courtroom process. Many couples opt to divorce through alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation and collaborative law. Your lawyer can discuss these divorce methods with you in greater detail to help you determine which is right for you.
In Illinois, a divorcing couple’s assets are divided according to the doctrine of equitable distribution. When it divides a couple’s property, the court considers many factors, such as:
If you have children, you will need to develop a parenting time schedule and determine each parent’s parental responsibilities. Parental responsibilities are certain roles in the child’s life, like the right to make decisions about his or her education and healthcare. Parenting time is the time the child spends in each parent’s household. When the court makes determinations about these issues, it does so with the child’s best interest in mind. A few of the factors considered to determine the child’s best interest include the child’s relationship with each parent, each parent’s assets and income, and if the child is old enough to form a well-developed opinion, the child’s own desire.
Child support is money paid from one parent to the other to help cover the costs of raising a child. For most couples, a formula is used to determine an appropriate child support amount based on each parent’s income. For high income couples and families with children who have special, specific needs, adjustments may be made to this formula. Similarly, there are protections in place for low income parents.
When one partner opts to leave the workforce or take on lower-paying work in order to dedicate him- or herself to the couple’s home and family, that partner may seek spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is money paid from one partner to another for a set length of time following a divorce to help the receiving partner avoid financial ruin. In many cases, spousal maintenance is paid until the receiving partner completes a college degree or vocational training. For longer marriages and marriages where one spouse cannot realistically be expected to return to the workforce due to age, disability, or a lack of skills, spousal maintenance may be awarded permanently.
If you are considering filing for divorce, first speak with an experienced divorce lawyer to determine your rights, your options, and how to move forward with the divorce process. Contact our team of experienced divorce lawyers at Sabuco, Beck, Hansen, Massino, & Pollack, P.C. today to set up your initial consultation with a member of our team. We are a firm of compassionate, knowledgeable family and divorce lawyers who can help you make effective decisions about your divorce.
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