It is understandable that the idea of divorce can be stressful and overwhelming. Even when a couple can agree on their own on the terms of the divorce, it is still an emotionally challenging process and can involve complex aspects of the law. While people do not get married thinking they will get divorced, things happen during the course of a relationship. This is why you still need to speak with a knowledgeable Illinois divorce attorney who can walk you through the Illinois divorce process and let you know what to expect.
The DuPage County divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd., routinely represent clients in all aspects of Illinois family law, including divorce and paternity. We work closely with all of our clients to ensure that all of your questions are answered and that you understand the process completely. Our goal is to help you handle your divorce matter as efficiently and quickly as possible.
To start the divorce process, you need to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Illinois is now a “no-fault” state, which means you do not need specific grounds to end your marriage. You just need to state that there are irreconcilable differences between you and your spouse. These differences must have led to your marriage breaking down and there is no chance of reconciliation.
With most divorces, one of the biggest areas of conflict involves the distribution of assets and liabilities. Any marital assets and debts will need to be divided. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, not a community property state. With community property states, you divide the assets and liabilities 50/50. In an equitable distribution state, everything gets divided in a manner which is fair to both sides, but it does not necessarily mean that each asset is divided equally. In other words, one spouse gets one asset while the other gets something else of similar value, and/or the court can also award a disproportionate amount of the marital estate to one party, depending on their future ability to earn income.
In some divorce matters, the court will award spousal maintenance, which is what was once known as alimony. One spouse will need to file a motion seeking spousal maintenance, and then the court will determine whether it is warranted. The court will look at a variety of factors, such as the length of the marriage, income of the parties, ability to earn income in the future, and what roles each spouse played during the marriage in developing the family unit. If the court decides that spousal maintenance is warranted, they will determine the amount and duration of the same based on various formulas currently in effect. Know your rights.
Child custody and visitation is now known as parental rights and responsibilities. If you have children, the court will look at how to divide parental responsibilities and who will be required to pay child support. They will also determine the appropriate parenting time schedule (formerly known as visitation).
If you are thinking about filing for divorce in DuPage County, or your spouse has filed a divorce petition, contact the Law Office of Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. today to schedule an initial consultation.