Few people decide to get a divorce on a whim. Divorce represents the long-term breakdown of a marriage. Even after one or both spouses decide divorce is the best option, there is still a specific set of legal procedures that must be followed.
The Rolling Meadows divorce attorneys at the SAM LAW OFFICE LLC assist clients throughout Cook County who need legal advice and representation in divorce matters. We are a full-service family law firm that can help you through this difficult time with professional skill and compassion. Attorney Susan A. Marks and her team will guide you through each stage of the divorce process and expend every effort to obtain the best possible outcome for you and your family.
For most of its history, Illinois only allowed couples to obtain a divorce if one spouse was “at-fault” for the breakdown of the marriage. The most commonly cited fault-based grounds are adultery, bigamy, habitual drunkenness, or one spouse’s felony conviction. A spouse filing for divorce could cite these or other grounds in support of his or her case.
However, Illinois now employs a pure “no-fault” system for divorce. This means it is no longer necessary to prove one spouse did anything wrong. Instead, either spouse may file for divorce in Illinois on the grounds that “[i]rreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” If the spouses have already been living separate and apart for at least six months prior to the divorce filing, that creates an “irrebuttable presumption” of irreconcilable differences.
Even when the parties are legally entitled to a divorce, however, an Illinois judge must still ensure certain outstanding issues are resolved, including child custody, spousal support, and the division of any property acquired during the marriage. In many cases, the spouses are able to reach a voluntary agreement on most if not all of these issues. But when differences remain, it may be necessary for the judge to hold a trial.
And even after a divorce is final, there may be situations in which either party needs to return to court, such as to seek modification of custody arrangements or support payments. At the SAM LAW OFFICE LLC, we can assist you with this and many other matters.
If you are already dealing with the stress of a broken marriage, you may be hesitant to contact a divorce attorney for fear of making things worse. But the important thing to remember is that a lawyer’s role is not to pick fights with your estranged spouse. Our job is to represent your interests while working toward a resolution that benefits all parties involved.
So if you are thinking about filing for divorce, or have already been served with papers, contact the SAM LAW OFFICE LLC today to speak with a member of our family law team. We offer free consultations to new clients in Rolling Meadows and throughout Cook County.