Divorce can be taxing and complicated. With all the different elements that go into getting a divorce, many people may feel overwhelmed at the thought of navigating through all these complexities. Divorce is not a fun process to go through, but if you can understand the basics of Illinois divorce law, you will be in a better position to steer your way through the twists and turns that can go into a divorce. Working with an experienced divorce lawyer can also significantly reduce your stress and provide you with the legal guidance you need.
Grounds For Divorce
Illinois is a no-fault divorce state. This means that parties do not need to prove that there was a fault for the end of the marriage. Since the law changed in 2016, the only grounds for a divorce in Illinois are irreconcilable differences. There are however a few elements that parties must prove to get a no-fault divorce in Illinois:
The breakdown of the marriage has been caused by irreconcilable differences
In the past, parties have tried reconciliation and have failed
Future efforts of reconciliation would cause more harm to the family than good
Parties Cannot Have The Same Lawyer
Even if the parties can work together within the areas of their divorce, they cannot share one lawyer. If a party decides to hire an attorney, it is the attorney’s job to look out for that party's best interest. However, some attorneys also work as mediators. A mediator helps a divorcing couple negotiate the terms of their divorce, and ideally, avoid a stressful litigation process.
Illinois is an Equitable Distribution State
Equitable distribution means that marital assets within a divorce will be split fairly, however, this does not always mean equally. Marital property is all assets that have been acquired by either party after they have been married. If the distribution of assets needs to be decided in court, a judge will try their best to consider every factor, but certain factors are taken into consideration more than others:
Financial resources of each party
How long the marriage lasted
Each party's contribution to the marital property
Media has represented custody agreements as favoring the mother, rarely giving fathers custody. If the parents cannot reach an agreement about custody issues, a judge will decide a parenting time and parental responsibilities arrangement that prioritizes the child’s best interests. Both the mother and father are looked at and considered equally.
Children can voice an opinion regarding custody decisions and a judge may take this into consideration. But, the judge ultimately has the final say. However, if the parties can negotiate and look only in the interest of their child, they may be able to decide custody without the help of a judge at all. Deciding their child’s custody with a level head, listening to their child's needs, and making these difficult decisions with love and patience, may be the best way to arrive at the best-case scenario.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney
If you are at the beginning of the complex divorce process, get in contact with a knowledgeable Wheaton divorce attorney at Andrew Cores Family Law Group. We will help to guide you through this process and help provide all the information and support you need. Call us at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation today.