If I’m Getting Divorced, Do I Need An Attorney?

If you are going through major life changes, such as a divorce, we recommend talking to a lawyer as they can protect your rights with respect to your children, property, and income. Attorneys have a duty to keep up-to-date with the current laws in Illinois concerning marriage, divorce, marital property, child custody, and more to ensure your legal representation is current and thorough.

What Are The Legal Grounds For Filing A Divorce?

When seeking a divorce, you need to know the law depending on where you live and if it’s a fault or no-fault divorce. Fault: Filing a divorce based on faults can include situations such as adultery, physical cruelty, mental cruelty, and attempted murder. No-Fault: A no-fault divorce is available in all 50 states, where the husband and wife are trying to part amicably. Common bases for a no-fault divorce are “irreconcilable differences” “irretrievable breakdown,” or “incompatibility.” Illinois is a no-fault state. In Illinois, an individual filing for divorce must meet the following: Resident of Illinois for a period of at least 90 days preceding the filing of the divorce; Irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage; Past efforts at reconciliation have failed; and, Future efforts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family.

How Are Assets Divided?

Spouses are able to divide their property how they choose to, but if need be, a judge will become involved if an agreement between the spouses cannot be reached. Understanding the laws in the state you live in when it comes to dividing marital and community property is important because some states believe that marital property should be divided equally unless there was a premarital agreement. Some reasons why assets would not be equally distributed include: The amount of nonmarital property each spouse has Earning power Services as a homemaker Waste and dissipation Length of the marriage Age and health of each partner

How To Determine Parenting Time (formerly “Child Custody”)?

There are many factors to consider when deciding parenting time of the parents, but it always ends with what is in the best interests of the child(ren). Some of the factors determining parenting time can be found below. The spouses are encouraged to enter into an agreement between themselves as to the parenting time of the child(ren). If the spouses come to an agreement, the attorneys will draft up a formal parenting plan that will be entered with the court. If the parents cannot agree on the division of parenting time with the child(ren), then the court will get involved. The court has the power to send the parents to mediation, appoint a Guardian Ad Litem, and/or set the matter for trial. In Illinois, pursuant to 750 ILCS 5/602.7(b)(1-17), the factors used to allocate parenting time that will be in the best interest of the child(ren) include, but are not limited to: The wishes of each parent seeking parenting time as well as the wishes of the child— it’s important to take into account the child’s maturity and ability to express reasoned and independent preferences as to parenting time. The amount of time each parent spent performing caretaking functions with respect to the child in the 24 months preceding the filing of any petition for allocation of parental responsibilities or, if the child is under 2 years of age, since the child’s birth. Any prior agreement or course of conduct between the parents relating to caretaking functions with respect to the child. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parents and siblings and with any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests and needs, such as the child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community, or the mental and physical health of all individuals involved; The distance between the parents’ residences, the cost and difficulty of transporting the child, each parent’s and the child’s daily schedules, and the ability of the parents to cooperate in the arrangement. Whether a restriction on parenting time is appropriate. For example, the physical violence or threat of physical violence by the child’s parent directed against the child or other member of the child’s household. The willingness and ability of each parent to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs, including the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child. Whether one of the parents is a convicted sex offender or lives with a convicted sex offender and, if so, the exact nature of the offense and what if any treatment the offender has successfully participated in. The terms of a parent’s military family-care plan that a parent must complete before deployment if a parent is a member of the United States Armed Forces who is being deployed.