Divorce can be one of the most difficult and complicated experiences in your life. Even when spouses can agree to terms, when it comes to property division or the allocation of parental responsibilities, divorce is nonetheless an emotionally challenging experience that involves numerous complicated aspects of the law. Did you know that around 30,000 people get divorced in Illinois each year? The Illinois Department of Public Health reports that figure while also recognizing that approximately 70,000 people get married every year.
Most of us do not plan for divorce when we get married, but time and events can cause even the most well thought out plans to change-divorce does happen. A dedicated Illinois divorce lawyer can assist you in getting started on your case today.
Most legal issues arising out of a divorce will fall under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/501 et seq.). The first step to getting divorced in Illinois, requires the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage by one of the married parties.
While Illinois used to recognize fault-based grounds for divorce, it recently became a “no fault” divorce state. What does this mean? Simple…to get divorced, the person who files simply needs to state that there are irreconcilable differences between the spouses, which have resulted in the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
In an Illinois divorce, only property which is marital property—(both assets and debts from the marriage)—will be subject to division or distribution. Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state. As such, marital property gets divided in a manner that is equitable or fair to the parties, but which may not necessarily mean an equal (50/50) division of assets between the parties.
Property division can get especially complicated in a high asset divorce where the couple owns significant assets, including valuable real estate or other property, or a business. Situations may also include situations where separate property has been commingled with marital property, exposing those assets to division with the spouse. An experienced Illinois divorce attorney can help with property classification, and properly advocate for your rights to those assets in the divorce proceeding.
In certain divorces, the court will decide that spousal maintenance (formerly know as “alimony”) should be awarded. The first step in seeking maintenance requires that one of the litigants file a motion to seek support from their spouse. Then, the next step is for the court to decide whether spousal maintenance is appropriate in that case. In assessing the matter, the court looks to various factors, such as the length of the marriage and the roles of the parties during the marriage, in order to decide whether it should be awarded. Then, if the parties make a combined gross income of less than $500,000, the court looks towards its guidelines to determine the amount and duration of the award. (See 750 ILCS 5/504)
When there is a child from the marriage, divorce can also involve the allocation of parental responsibilities and a child support determination. (formerly known as child custody, and visitation). Matters concerning a child and the parent-child relationship can get especially contentious, and it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer about your case.
Are you thinking about filing for divorce? Do you need help with a divorce case in which a petition already has been filed? Do you need to modify a court order? An experienced Illinois divorce attorney can assist you. Contact the law office of Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. today.
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