Recently, the wife of a former director of CeaseFire Illinois, an organization dedicated to stamping out gang violence, has filed for divorce from her husband, citing irreconcilable differences and mental cruelty. The divorce petition filed asks for a division of the marital property, as well as sole possession of the marital home and the possessions inside that the couple had shared in marriage.
The husband had previously been arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery, and the police noted that the wife showed signs of injury at the investigation. As a result of this conviction, the man was forced to resign as director of CeaseFire Illinois. The 50-year old man is credited as having pioneered the use of violence mediators to resolve conflicts between rival gangs as director of CeaseFire Illinois. The man maintains his innocence on the charge of domestic battery.
Divorce incidences where the parties’ relationship is contentious, such as the one in this case, are the most difficult due to the emotional tensions between the parties. The desire for the spouses to hurt each other often leads to disputes over property division, child custody/support, or alimony payments. In situations involving mental or physical cruelty, an abused spouse has the legal right to seek a temporary restraining order against the attacker for her own protection or those of the children.
In dividing the marital property, courts in Illinois attempt to achieve a fair outcome between the parties, and will award the spouses a percentage of the total value of the marital property. The property may be split regardless of the income levels of the spouses. The marital house is typically given to the spouse who does the most to raise the children, but courts are more flexible when there are no children involved. A spouse may jeopardize his or her right to the marital property if the court believes they are acting out of spite.
All divorcing couples have the legal option to make the process as easy and emotionally painless as possible by creating a plan for alimony, child custody and visitation, and property division. In this way, the toxic feelings created by a divorce can be avoided, and a truly fair and equitable solution can be reached.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Former CeaseFire director’s wife files for divorce,” Deanese Williams-Harris, June 19, 2013.