In Illinois, a couple can legally end their marriage if they can prove to a court that irreconcilable differences have led to the breakdown of their marriage. Although this standard is much simpler to meet than in prior decades, when couples were required to prove fault in order to obtain a divorce, ending a marriage still remains a complicated endeavor. If you and your spouse are considering divorce, it is important to contact a team of experienced divorce lawyers in Cook County who can walk you through the dissolution process.
Most of the legal issues encountered during divorce fall under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, which addresses divorce-related topics, such as property division, alimony, and parenting time. However, a couple can only begin grappling with these issues when they officially file for divorce, which in turn requires the submission of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage by either one of the spouses. Once this has occurred, the parties will then need to prove that irreconcilable differences have caused their marriage to become irretrievably broken. This is a variation of what is now known as “no-fault” divorce, a much simpler method of dissolving a marriage, as it does not require proof that either party was to blame for the end of a marriage.
During an Illinois divorce, property (including both assets and debts) that was acquired during the course of a marriage will be subject to division. Because Illinois is an equitable division state, marital assets must be split up in a way that is suitable and fair to both parties. This does not, however, necessarily mean that all marital assets will be divided down the middle. Instead, courts will assess a number of factors when determining what type of property settlement award would be most fair, including each party’s access to separate property, how long the parties were married, and whether the couple shares children.
Besides property division, all divorcing couples in Illinois must grapple with the issue of spousal maintenance. When determining whether payments from one spouse to another is appropriate, courts look to various factors, including the length of the marriage, whether both parties are employed, and the amount of income earned by each individual. These factors will also be used when determining how much a person should be required to pay in alimony, as well as the duration of payments, and what form those payments will take.
Couples that share children can only end their marriages after deciding how parenting time and responsibility for childcare-related decision making will be divided between the parties. Courts are primarily guided by what would be in the best interests of the child when making these determinations, which also requires an assessment of a child’s current living situation, the distance between the parents’ residences, and in some cases, the wishes of the child.
Please contact the team of experienced divorce lawyers Cook County at Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. to learn more about ending your marriage in Illinois. Feel free to call our office, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
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