When conflict, drastically different lifestyle needs and expectations, or a loss of intimacy between partners is present in a marriage, filing for divorce could be the right choice for the couple. While some marriages can recover from these issues through a reevaluation of the couple’s needs or outside aid from a marital counselor, other marriages cannot be saved. When a couple is in this latter category, divorce is often the healthiest option for both spouses and for their children.
Illinois, like all other states, has specific requirements for divorcing couples. These requirements include:
A divorce settlement is the legal order that states the terms of the couple’s divorce. It can include other legal orders to support its terms, such as a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to assign an alternate payee to one spouse’s retirement plan or a child support order to ensure that the couple’s children receive the financial support they need after the divorce.
The couple’s marital assets and debts must be divided in their divorce. They are divided according to the doctrine of equitable distribution, which means the property is not necessarily divided equally between the partners. Instead, the court considers a set of factors to determine an appropriate division based on the couple’s individual needs.
In addition to a child support order, a couple’s divorce settlement may also include a parenting plan. This plan has two components: a parenting time schedule and a breakdown of each partner’s parental responsibilities. These terms replaced the concepts of physical and legal custody in Illinois.
If one spouse worked part time or not at all during the marriage to devote him- or herself to the couple’s home and children, that spouse may receive spousal maintenance through a spousal maintenance order in their divorce settlement. Spousal maintenance is money one spouse pays, often for a fixed period of time while the recipient prepares to reenter the workforce, to protect the lesser earning spouse from financial hardship following their divorce. In certain cases, spousal maintenance is paid permanently or until the recipient remarries.
Contact our team of experienced divorce lawyers at Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. today to set up your free legal consultation in our office. We can answer any questions you have about the divorce process and help you develop realistic expectations for your divorce based on your situation.