Television shows and movies tend to depict divorce as a contentious, messy affair where the spouses can barely stand to be in the same room together. Fortunately, this type of case represents a relatively small number of divorces in real like. For many couples, a divorce may be difficult, but it is not usually a contentious and bitter war of attrition. If you and your spouse agree that a divorce is the best option for you both, you may be able to work together to draft a divorce settlement agreement that largely keeps you out of court and focused on building your new, post-divorce life.
Understand the Context
Illinois law provides that every divorce issued in the state is now granted on the no-fault grounds of irreconcilable differences. This has been the only possible grounds for divorce in Illinois since the beginning of 2016, but it has been the most commonly used grounds for much longer than that. The social acceptance of no-fault divorce has allowed unhappy couples to seek better lives outside of their marriage rather than waiting or looking for a serious issue on which to base their divorce.
For example, a couple whose relationship has simply broken down over the years has the option of ending their marriage amicably. That same couple may not have had that option 50 years ago. They would have been required to stay married until one of the spouses cheated, abandoned the family, or engaged in a pattern of mental or physical cruelty. A couple seeking a no-fault divorce is much more likely to consider negotiating and cooperating on the divorce agreement than a couple that has been driven apart by destructive behavior.
Focus on the Big Things
A divorce judgment can include a wide variety of topics, including many small details, but the biggest ones are most important. If you and your spouse can be reasonable and communicate, you may be able to reach suitable compromises on most of the larger issues. You will first need to review your situation. What types of property do you own? What do you each need or want? What type of parenting arrangement will work best? Is spousal support needed? By keeping your focus on the most important concerns, you will likely find that you also able to figure out the smaller details as well.
A Lawyer Can Review Your Agreement
Before your divorce judgment can be issued, the court must approve your proposed settlement agreement. It is a good idea to have your proposal reviewed by a qualified family law attorney prior to submitting it to the court. Your lawyer can help you identify any potential problems or loopholes and make sure that your settlement will hold up over time. He or she can also help ensure that the provisions are reasonable and likely to meet the court’s standards.
If you are thinking about a divorce but are interested in avoiding unnecessary stress and expense, contact an experienced DuPage County family lawyer. At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we can help you find a solution that meets your needs and provides the security you deserve. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.