Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, which means that couples who wish to end their marriages are no longer required to provide proof of one party’s fault in order to obtain a divorce. Instead, the parties need only satisfy residency requirements and establish that irreconcilable differences have led to the failure of their marriage. Although filing for a no-fault divorce tends to be much simpler than filing for its fault-based predecessor, it is by no means a simple process, so if you and your spouse live in Illinois and have decided to end your marriage, it is important to contact a team of experienced Downers Grove divorce attorneys who can help protect your interests.
No-fault divorce means couples who wish to legally end their marriages are not required to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong in order to obtain a divorce. Instead, a couple’s marriage need only be irretrievably broken in order to qualify for a no-fault divorce. However, this is only an option for couples who satisfy residency requirements and who have been separated for at least six months.
Even couples who file for no-fault divorce must still contend with a host of complicated issues before their divorce can be finalized, including property distribution. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, so all of a divorcing couple’s marital property must be divided fairly. This division requirement applies to all property acquired after a marriage takes place, but excludes assets obtained or acquired by one spouse prior to the marriage. When deciding what would qualify as a fair division of assets, courts look to a number of factors, including each party’s contribution to the marital property, the length of the marriage, and each party’s particular economic circumstances.
In addition to making property division determinations, divorcing couples are also required to determine whether one of the parties will be required to pay spousal maintenance to the other and if so, what form those payments will take and how long they must be paid. Couples who are unable to come to an agreement on this issue will have to abide by the decision of a judge, who will take a few different factors into account when making his or her determination, including the couple’s standard of living during the marriage, the duration of the union, and each party’s earning potential.
Finally, couples who share children will only be permitted to finalize their divorce if they come up with a custody and child support arrangement. These agreements will only be approved by a court if they are deemed to be in a child’s best interests, which in turn requires an assessment of the parties’ wishes, the distance between the parents’ homes, and the child’s adjustment to his or her community and home. Child support, on the other hand, will be dictated by the amount of time each parent spends with the child, as well as both parties’ incomes.
If you and your spouse are thinking about filing for divorce, please call our office to speak with one of the experienced Downers Grove divorce lawyers at Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. today.