Crestwood Divorce Attorneys

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Crestwood Divorce Attorneys

Few legal issues are as complex or as emotional as divorce. Even if a marriage has been short, many complicated disputes can arise involving children and marital property. Spouses can also feel intense emotions, such as anger, depression, or disillusionment, which can cloud their judgment. At Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd., our Crestwood divorce attorneys have guided countless men and women through the Illinois divorce process. Let us advocate on your behalf to protect your rights.

Starting Your Illinois Divorce

Divorce in Illinois starts with filing a petition in an appropriate court and serving a copy on your spouse. In this petition, a husband or wife provides important information, such as the names and ages of shared children, and makes requests for support.

Historically, a spouse could only file for divorce by claiming fault, but Illinois is now a no-fault state. In practice, our clients only need to claim that irreconcilable differences between the spouses have caused the marriage to irretrievably break down and that attempts at reconciliation are futile.

Issues Related to Children

Divorce with minor children can be especially complicated. Once parents set up separate households, they must divide the children’s time and allocate decision-making power over significant issues such as medical care, education, and religious upbringing. This used to be called “child custody,” but Illinois now uses the label “allocation of parental responsibilities.”

Parents have the power to allocate these responsibilities themselves in a written agreement. When they cannot agree, however, 750 ILCS 5/602.5 outlines the factors a judge should consider when deciding what is in the child’s best interests.

Parents are also responsible for financially supporting their children even if the children do not live with them. Helpfully, Illinois has created guidelines for determining child support, and judges follow these guidelines in most cases.

Division of Marital Property and Debt

Illinois views marriage as an economic union, and couples must divide their marital property and debts before they can divorce. However, a question often arises as to what assets are marital. Generally speaking, any asset obtained while married is marital, even if only one spouse’s name is on the title or deed. All other assets are separate property that is not subject to division during the divorce. 

Under Illinois law, marital property must be divided “equitably,” which basically means fairly. A strict 50/50 division is not required, though that often is the end result. Couples retain the power to decide property division themselves, but many disputes can break out, especially when couples have significant assets or a family business. An experienced Crestwood divorce attorney can review your assets and help you navigate the division process. 

Spousal Maintenance

A divorce can devastate one spouse financially, especially when he or she has fewer assets or lower earning potential. In some cases, a court will award spousal maintenance (also known as alimony), which usually consists of monthly payments from the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning one.

Not every spouse is entitled to spousal support. A judge will review many factors, such as the duration of the marriage and each spouse’s age and financial situation. Where alimony is appropriate, a judge will need to determine a fair amount based on guidelines found in 750 ILCS 5/504.

Speak With Crestwood Divorce Attorneys Today

If you are considering divorce—or if you have received a copy of your spouse’s divorce petition—you would benefit from experienced legal guidance. Please contact the Crestwood divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Demetrios N. Dalmares and Associates Ltd. today.

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