How Does a Spouse’s Incarceration Affect an Illinois Divorce?

DuPage County Contested Divorce AttorneyIf a spouse is currently in prison, divorce is an important decision that the couple may consider. The complex feelings and consequences of seeing a husband or wife go to prison can be overwhelming. In addition, the couple’s children will find it especially challenging to live without their incarcerated parent. This is why, depending on the situation, divorce might be the best option. There are many other reasons to initiate a divorce under these circumstances, and there are steps to take to ensure a seamless legal proceeding.

Reasons for Divorce During Incarceration

Studies suggest that incarceration increases divorce rates, and even if the inmate is released from prison, the marriage might still be more susceptible to divorce long thereafter. In fact, for every year a spouse is in prison, the likelihood of divorce during or after imprisonment increased by about 32 percent. There are many reasons for a divorce between one spouse and an incarcerated spouse, including:

  • Estrangement

  • Feelings of loneliness

  • Lack of intimacy

  • Financial problems

  • Child support issues

Reasons for Divorce After Incarceration

It might be easy to assume that once the incarcerated spouse is released from prison and back at home, the dynamics of the marriage and family will return to the way they were prior to incarceration. However, the truth is that the transition is often much more complicated than that. Even if the incarcerated spouse is released from prison, there are still greater odds of divorce resulting from the time spent locked up. Criminologists have researched the effects of incarceration on marriages and have found that even after being released from prison, the formerly incarcerated spouse and his/her spouse might exhibit the following characteristics:

  • More violent behavior

  • Less loving qualities

  • Extramarital affairs

Combine the above traits with many of the same issues faced during incarceration that persist even after imprisonment, and divorce becomes a likely outcome for many of these couples.

Legal Process for Divorce When One Spouse Is Incarcerated

Overall, the legal process for divorce when one spouse is incarcerated is not much different from the usual divorce process. In many cases, the two spouses agree to have an uncontested divorce, since this is the quickest, easiest, and most affordable option. In situations where a divorce is contested by one or both spouses, the process will be more challenging. Funds are limited, making it difficult for one or both spouses to afford a lawyer, and the imprisonment makes appearing in court problematic. Thankfully, some courtrooms in Illinois have agreed to allow proceedings via video.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Divorce under any circumstances can be a difficult decision to make, but when one of the spouses is serving time in prison, it can be even more challenging. Although it might seem daunting at first, with a knowledgeable and dedicated Wheaton, IL contested divorce attorney providing guidance, you can be prepared to navigate this major life event with ease. If you or your spouse are currently incarcerated, and you have questions about the divorce process under these special circumstances, call our office today at 630-871-1002 for a complimentary consultation.


Are There Different Types of Spousal Support in an Illinois Divorce?

DuPage County spousal maintenance attorneyFinancial issues often play a major factor throughout a marriage, and they can even cause a couple to divorce. In some cases, a couple may get used to a certain lifestyle during the marriage. Whether one spouse earned a substantially higher income, or the other spouse stayed home to raise children, a divorce can significantly impact their situations moving forward. When going through a divorce, spouses may wonder about the aftermath and how they can move on. Some of the typical fears are: “Can I afford to stay in the house?” or “How will I be able to pay bills?” Under Illinois law, one partner may be able to seek spousal maintenance once the marriage ends. A court will consider several factors when determining whether to award maintenance and what kind of payments are necessary.

Spousal Maintenance Payments

Illinois courts will look at different issues to determine if spousal maintenance (which is often referred to as alimony or spousal support) is warranted. These factors can include the income level of both spouses, their health and ages, and how long the marriage lasted. Support is based on need, and both women and men are eligible to receive payments. The following are three types of spousal maintenance payment options:

  • Permanent or Indefinite Maintenance: For marriages which lasted at least 20 years, Illinois allows for the payment of maintenance until one of the parties dies. However, payments can be terminated if the receiving spouse remarries or if the paying spouse retires.

  • Maintenance in Gross: This type of maintenance payment could be made in one lump sum or a designated number of installments. Although not as common, it is sometimes used to gain certain tax advantages.

  • Rehabilitative Maintenance: Also known as “reviewable maintenance” or “periodic maintenance,” this type of support may be paid for a short, fixed period of time or an indefinite amount of time. A case may be reviewed periodically to determine whether continued maintenance payments are necessary.

The purpose of spousal maintenance is not to punish or reward spouses but to allow a person to maintain their lifestyle after the end of their marriage. This kind of financial assistance is intended for lower-earning spouses, and it can help them make the transition to single life and give them time to get back on their feet and become self-supporting.

Every divorce is unique, and in some cases, the spouses can settle the terms of maintenance on their own. However, if a couple cannot come to an agreement on spousal support, they will have to resolve the issue through litigation in court, and a judge will decide whether to award maintenance. In either case, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side to ensure that all applicable factors are taken into account and that maintenance is determined correctly.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Attorney

Going from being a married spouse to a single person can be a difficult transition. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional toll a divorce takes, but you may have to relocate and get a job to make ends meet. If you are worried about how to move on financially after the end of your marriage, you may be entitled to spousal support. Our skilled DuPage County spousal maintenance lawyers will help you determine your eligibility for maintenance and advocate for you to receive the support you need. Call the Andrew Cores Family Law Group today at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free consultation.




What Mistakes Should I Avoid in an Illinois Divorce?

Wheaton, IL divorce attorneyIf you are facing a divorce, you are likely to be plagued with feelings of doubt and uncertainty. While there is no “correct” way to go about the process of ending your marriage, you will want to be sure to address the various legal issues between you and your spouse in a responsible manner. The many decisions that must be made about matters such as the division of assets, marital debt, spousal support, and parental responsibilities could lead to you feel overwhelmed. Although you may be eager to resolve these matters and get the divorce process over with, it is strongly advised to carefully think out every action you take. If certain issues are handled improperly, you may face serious financial repercussions, and your relationship with your children could be negatively affected. During your divorce, it is important to avoid these mistakes:

Being Dishonest

Attempting to hide marital assets, providing your spouse with false financial information, or withholding knowledge from your ex, their lawyer, or the court could result in serious consequences. You may be penalized if you are found to be hiding money or other property, and if it is discovered that you are lying, a judge may consider this behavior when making decisions about property division or child custody. Ultimately, it is best to be as open and honest as possible during the divorce process.

Letting Your Emotions Control You

The dissolution of your marriage is the end of your partnership with your ex. The thought of moving forward into single life can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if you will also be spending less time with your children. Because of these changes, you may struggle with sadness, anger, depression, guilt, and a variety of other emotions. However, it is best to approach your divorce with a professional mindset. Putting emotions aside when addressing the legal and practical concerns of ending your marriage will help you make sure you can start your post-divorce life off on the right foot.

Not Focusing on Your Children

As you concentrate on the multitude of issues that must be addressed during your divorce, you should make sure that you are taking the time to meet your children’s needs. They are also likely to be overwhelmed with the changes that are occurring in their lives, and they are probably uncertain about where they will live and how their relationship with both parents will be affected. Explaining the situation to them in an age-appropriate manner, addressing their concerns, and emphasizing that you love them and will always be there for them can help make the divorce process easier for them and prepare your family for success once your divorce is complete.

Refusing to Compromise

Just like marriage, the key to achieving an amicable divorce is being able to reach agreements with your spouse. Working together throughout the divorce process and agreeing to compromise and find mutually agreeable solutions can make the situation much easier to manage. Mediation and collaborative law are different forms of dispute resolution that can help you and your spouse reach a middle ground.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

A divorce can be a complex process that may take a significant amount of time to conclude. To ensure that your rights and best interests are protected throughout the legal process, it is crucial to work with an experienced attorney. At the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we can provide you with dedicated representation throughout the divorce process, and we will work with you to reach a positive resolution to your case. To schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Wheaton divorce lawyers, contact our office at 630-871-1002.