Filing for divorce can be a scary process. Most people have no experience with the legal system, so going through a divorce on their own can bring added anxiety. This is one reason why retaining an Illinois divorce attorney is highly recommended. Even if you are filing for an uncontested divorce, it is best to have a knowledgeable divorce attorney look over your settlement agreement.
At SAM LAW OFFICE LLC, we receive a lot of questions from prospective clients who want to know more about how the Illinois divorce process works. To help you prepare for your upcoming divorce, here is a look at some of the most common questions we receive.
How Long Does the Divorce Process Typically Take?
Because every couple’s circumstances are different, there is no specific amount of time we can tell you a divorce will take. An uncontested divorce could still take a few months, while a contested one might take a year or more to resolve. Your attorney can advise you on a potential timeframe for your divorce.
What is the Total Cost of Filing for Divorce?
Again, this is something that you need to sit down and discuss with your attorney. A divorce that lasted a short time and did not involve children and many assets is going to be simple to resolve. This is especially true when compared to a couple with assets in multiple states, hard to value collectibles, various businesses, children, demand for alimony, etc.
Am I Required to Disclose All Assets in a Divorce?
Yes, you must disclose your full financial situation when you are going through a divorce. Do not decide on your own that you do not think something qualifies as marital property; otherwise, your soon-to-be-ex may accuse you of deliberating hiding assets. Illinois uses the method of equitable distribution to resolve property division disputes. This theory says that all marital assets and liabilities should be divided equitably and fairly. It does not mean all assets are split 50/50, but rather that each spouse walks away from the marriage with a fair share.
Do I Automatically Get Alimony or Spousal Support?
No, just because you were married, there is no guarantee the court will award anyone alimony. The only possible guarantee of spousal support is if it is part of a valid prenuptial or post-marital agreement. In general, courts do not usually award alimony in marriages that only lasted a few years. Long term marriages, like those that lasted 20 or 30 years, would be more likely to qualify for financial compensation in the form of a spousal support award.
Do the Courts Automatically Award Child Custody to the Mother?
No, courts prefer always to have both parents involved unless there is a safety concern. In Illinois, child custody is called the ‘allocation of parental responsibility.’ Visitation is called ‘parenting time.’ Courts award parental responsibility and parenting time based on the best interests of the children involved.
Contact an Illinois Divorce Attorney
If you are preparing to file for divorce, or your spouse served you with divorce papers, it is important to speak with an attorney right away. Contact SAM LAW OFFICE LLC today to schedule an initial consultation.