Although every couple vows “til death do us part” on their wedding day, many will end their relationships far sooner. Sometimes, the stresses the couple faces later like raising children or career opportunities drive a couple apart and in other cases, issues like infidelity and substance abuse crop up and destroy the marriage. Not all marriages end for such dramatic reasons; sometimes, couples merely grow apart as the years pass.
When a couple’s relationship is over, they can end their marriage through divorce. Couples do not have to cite reasons for their divorces other than that the marriage suffered an irretrievable breakdown. This is known as a “no fault” divorce.
Illinois imposes numerous requirements on divorcing couples. These include:
The document outlining the terms of the couple’s divorce is known as their divorce settlement. Reaching a settlement can sometimes take months or even a year if the couple cannot agree to its terms. When a couple has a prenuptial agreement or they choose an uncontested divorce, this process can be completed much quicker.
Every divorce involves the distribution of the couple’s marital assets and debts. The assets and debts are divided according to the doctrine of equitable distribution, which means relevant facts about the couple’s marriage and their individual needs after the divorce are considered, in order to determine a fair way to distribute their assets. These facts include the length of the marriage and each partner’s income and future employability.
If the couple has children, the court may also develop a parenting plan and create a child support order. A parenting plan grants each partner a share of their child’s time on a regular schedule and assigns parental responsibilities like deciding where the child will attend school and the religion in which he or she will be raised. Child support is the money one parent pays to the other to help cover the costs of raising a child.
Sometimes, spousal maintenance is part of a divorce settlement as well. This is money paid by one spouse to the other, sometimes permanently and sometimes for a specific period, to protect that spouse from financial hardship after the divorce.
Getting divorced is a big step in your life. It can be scary and it can be overwhelming, but it is also the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next phase of your life. Make sure your rights and interests are protected through this transition by working with an experienced Orland Park divorce lawyer. Contact our team at Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. today to set up your free consultation with us.
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