The decision to end a marriage is never easy. Even when it is clear to both sides that the marriage itself is irretrievably broken, it can still be difficult to take the first steps toward legally dissolving what was once an intimate relationship. SAM LAW OFFICE LLC understands this is a difficult time for all parties concerned. That is why we offer skilled, compassionate representation for clients in Rolling Meadows and the other northwestern suburbs of Cook County, Illinois. So if you are looking for an experienced divorce lawyer near you, contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation.
Illinois is a “no-fault” state when it comes to divorce. This means that you do not have to prove your spouse did something wrong to cause the breakup of your marriage. Instead, you can seek a divorce on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences,” provided that you and your spouse have lived separate and apart for at least six continuous months.
The divorce itself can be contested or uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, both sides agree on all of the key issues related to the dissolution of the marriage, including the division of property, child custody and parenting time, and child support. In uncontested divorce cases where neither spouse seeks maintenance (alimony), there are no children, and the marriage lasted no more than eight years, the parties may seek what is known as a “joint simplified dissolution,” which can further expedite the process.
When there is disagreement among the parties, however, a contested divorce proceeding is usually necessary. This involves one spouse filing a formal lawsuit against the other spouse. A judge will then hold a hearing on any contested issues and issue a judgment. Either party may then appeal part or all of a ruling if they are dissatisfied with the judge’s decision.
Illinois follows an “equitable division” rule with respect to marital property in divorce cases. Basically, this means that when the parties cannot decide among themselves how to divvy up any property acquired during the marriage, a judge must order a division that is considered fair. But fair does not mean “equal.” The court will look at a number of factors in determining an equitable division, such as each spouse’s financial contribution to the marriage, the length of the marriage, and any pre- or post-nuptial agreements they signed. Other issues, such as spousal maintenance and child support, rely on certain formulas established by Illinois law.
Even if you have split from your spouse on amicable terms, it is still in your best interest to work with an Illinois divorce attorney near you who can advise you of your rights and responsibilities under the law. SAM LAW OFFICE LLC represents clients in and near Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Palatine, Prospect Heights, and Mount Prospect. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.