Thinking About Divorce?
Choosing to end a marriage can be a difficult and very complicated decision. It can also be filled with stress, anxiety, and emotion. It’s not easy to admit that your marriage is over, but working with a skilled family attorney who understands Illinois divorce law, knows your options, and can help you navigate the process, can make a tremendous difference. At Caesar & Bender, LLP, we will provide the support and knowledge you need every step of the way.
Understanding Illinois Divorce
Each state has its own process when it comes to the dissolution of a marriage. For example, in Illinois, there is no waiting period to file a petition for dissolution of marriage. As long as one of the spouses lives in Illinois on the day the petition for dissolution is filed, a party may file the petition. However, a court cannot grant the divorce unless one or both of the spouses is a resident of Illinois for at least 90 days prior to the dissolution being finalized.
It’s also important to note that the court must find grounds for granting a divorce. In Illinois, there is only one recognized ground for divorce: irreconcilable differences, which is defined as the “irretrievable breakdown” of a marriage. In 2016, Illinois became a “no-fault” state, meaning it does not recognize the fault of a spouse (such as mental abuse) as grounds for a divorce. Instead, it must be proven that there was an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, that all efforts at reconciliation between the parties have failed, and that future attempts to reconcile would not be in the best interests of the family.
Parties can prove that irreconcilable differences have arisen by showing that they have lived separately for at least six months prior to initiating the divorce litigation. Parties do not have to physically live separately to prove irreconcilable differences. If the parties are still under one household it still can be shown that they have ceased living together as spouses.
Once there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, the spouses must settle certain issues before the dissolution can be finalized. Such issues are division of marital property (i.e. real estate, retirement accounts, etc.) and debts, maintenance and child support (if applicable), and, if applicable, child-related issues such as parenting time, allocation of parental responsibilities, and financial support of the child(ren). These issues can be settled between the parties by agreement or they may be decided by the court after a trial is conducted.
We will help you understand your options.
Planning For Divorce
Whatever the reasons may be for wanting a divorce, it’s important to have a plan in place to help you secure the very best result quickly and efficiently. You must consider issues such as division of your property, which can become complicated if you are a high-asset couple. We can help you understand if alimony/maintenance will be part of your divorce and will walk you through issues related to your children.
Everyone has many questions and concerns as to how divorce will affect your life. Caesar & Bender can be by your side providing you with support and answers. You do not have to be alone. We help people with their initial divorce as well as with modifying you divorce decree when life requires a change.
Choosing The Right Divorce Attorney
Choosing the right attorney, someone who truly understands the law and who has the requisite skill and experience, is vital. You should have a team that fully understands the law, is compassionate and has the experience with divorce issues and situations that are similar to yours.
You should ask questions to make sure that you are comfortable with the divorce attorneys you choose. Divorce can be emotional. At Caesar & Bender, LLP, we will do everything possible to guide you through this emotional process to a better place.