Although the Illinois Legislature has taken a number of steps in recent years to simplify the divorce process, dissolving a marriage remains a difficult feat, as courts will only grant a divorce after couples come to an agreement regarding a host of complicated issues. To ensure that your own divorce is not unduly delayed due to a procedural mishap or misunderstanding, please contact a McHenry County divorce attorney who can assist you.
In prior decades, a couple could only obtain a divorce if one of the spouses was able to demonstrate that the other spouse was a fault for the end of the marriage. Acceptable reasons for divorce included adultery, impotence, abuse, and abandonment or neglect. However, Illinois, like most of the country, has since transitioned to a no-fault approach to divorce. As a result, couples only need to attest that irreconcilable differences have led to the breakdown of the marriage and that any attempts at reconciliation failed. They should also show that future attempts to reconcile the marriage would not be in the family’s best interests.
If a couple has lived separately for at least six continuous months prior to the divorce, a court will automatically presume that irreconcilable differences exist.
A divorce legally terminates a marriage, so when a couple decides to end their marriage, they must also come to an agreement regarding marriage-related benefits. This includes deciding how marital assets will be divided between the parties, as well as whether one party will be required to pay alimony or child support. If a couple has children, they will also need to determine how parenting time and responsibility for decision making will be split and may also need to address mortgage obligations if one party decides to remain in the family home, as well as the tax implications of the property division agreement.
In some cases, couples are able to come to an agreement on these issues on their own in an out-of-court setting. In these situations, a judge only needs to approve the agreement before granting a divorce. If, on the other hand, a couple is unable to come to an agreement or some or all of the aforementioned divorce-related issues, a judge will be forced to step in and make a decision on the parties’ behalf. This takes a significant amount of power out of the hands of divorcing couples, who may end up with a less than satisfactory property division or time-sharing agreement as a result. For this reason, most couples are encouraged to at least attempt negotiation. If doing so is impossible, due to concerns about domestic violence or as a result of tension between the parties, it is critical for each spouse to retain an attorney who can ensure that his or her rights and interests are protected.
If you and your spouse are considering filing for divorce, you need the advice of an experienced divorce attorney who can ensure that your marriage is dissolved as quickly and painlessly as possible. Please call the SAM LAW OFFICE LLC at 847-255-9925 today to learn more about obtaining a divorce in Illinois.