Contemplating divorce is difficult. Whether or not you are sure you want to end your marriage, it helps to learn the basics of divorce law. As of January 1, 2016, the statute that governs divorces in Illinois has experienced a complete overhaul. Should you conclude that divorce is necessary, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney especially now that the laws have changed.
Contact us today to discuss your concerns with an experienced professional on staff or an attorney from Grunyk & Associates, P.C., a Naperville family law firm.
Grounds For Divorce
A divorce is a judicial decree by which a valid marriage is dissolved. From a legal standpoint, the divorce process will divide the couple's assets and debts; determine the parents' responsibilities with regard to caring for the minor children; and give each person the legal right to marry someone else.
Illinois is a "no fault" state. Generally, a divorce will be granted if one spouse states that the marriage has irretrievably broken down or the couple has irreconcilable differences. (Other residency and filing requirements must also be met.) Prior to January 1, 2016, "fault divorces" were still available. Fault divorces are no longer available in Illinois.
Resolving Issues During Divorce
Before a divorce may be granted, five basic issues typically must be resolved. They are:
- Spousal support
- Property and debt division
- Allocation of parental responsibility (commonly known as child custody)
- Allocation of parental time (commonly known as visitation)
- Child support
If the spouses can reach agreement on these issues, then the divorce is uncontested. If, however, the spouses cannot agree, the divorce is contested. The spouses may go to trial to resolve the issues. This usually means that a family court judge will make the final decisions. Alternatives to going to court include mediation and collaborative divorce.
Choosing The Right Method Of Resolution For You
Making the decision to end a marriage is difficult, and divorce is one of the most stressful experiences that a person can ever go though. Even so, it is in your best interests to approach the divorce process from a rational, businesslike perspective.
People who feel that they had some control over the divorce process often feel more satisfied with the results. If both parties feel good about the process then the likelihood of future conflicts goes down. By communicating clearly with your attorney and by choosing the right method to reach a suitable agreement you can make the divorce process a little bit bearable.
Working with an experienced family law attorney will help you get through the process and begin your new life. We are here to help you do exactly that.