Prior to 2016, Illinois couples who decided to end their marriages were required to go through the arduous and complex process of proving that one of the parties was at fault for the union’s failure. Fortunately, this is no longer required in Illinois, as lawmakers have since adopted a no-fault approach to divorce, under which couples are now only required to attest that irreconcilable differences have led to the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship and that efforts at reconciliation are not in the family’s best interests. In most cases, providing evidence that a couple has been living separate and apart for at least six months is enough to satisfy this burden.
Although the no-fault approach to divorce has gone a long way toward simplifying the divorce process, ending a marriage is by no means an easy endeavor, so if you and your spouse are thinking about filing for divorce, it is important to contact experienced divorce lawyers in Crestwood who can explain your legal options before you move forward with your case.
Courts will only finalize a couple’s divorce after the parties’ marital assets and debts have been divided. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, so divorcing couples must divide assets and debts that were obtained during the marriage in an equitable manner. The only exceptions to this rule apply to bequests and gifts inherited by or given to only one of the parties during the marriage. Separate property, on the other hand, or assets that the parties brought into the marriage, will remain in the sole possession of the original owner unless a court determines that those assets have been commingled with marital property.
Besides determining how marital assets will be distributed upon the end of a marriage, divorcing couples must also decide whether one party will be required to make spousal maintenance payments to the other once the divorce is finalized. If a couple is unable to reach an agreement on this issue, however, a court will step in and make a determination based on an analysis of certain factors, including:
It is important to note that a judge will not assess these factors if a couple in question has already entered into a premarital or postmarital agreement in which they agreed on a certain amount or type of alimony payment.
Couples with children must come to an agreement on the allocation of parenting time and responsibility for decision-making before their divorce can be finalized. While most courts presume that equal time-sharing and responsibility are in a child’s best interests, this is not always the case, making it particularly important for couples with children to retain an attorney who can help them create a parenting plan that is in their specific child’s best interests.
If you and your spouse are thinking about filing for divorce, please contact the experienced Crestwood divorce legal team at Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. We can be reached via email by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or by submitting one of our online contact forms.