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IL divorce lawyerStudies show that approximately 16 percent of married people cheat on their spouse at least once in their lives. Of course, what constitutes “cheating” is up to the individuals involved in the marriage. Whether your relationship was affected by a one-time instance of sexual infidelity or a long-term affair, there is no doubt that cheating can dramatically impact a marriage. But how does infidelity affect divorce? Are spouses entitled to a greater share of marital property or higher spousal support payments if their spouse cheated? Does infidelity impact child custody determinations? Can you list “adultery” as the grounds for your divorce?

Adultery in Illinois Divorce Cases

The grounds, or legal justifications, for divorce vary from state to state. Presently, Illinois is a no-fault divorce state. This means that you will not list adultery or other fault-based grounds as the reason for your divorce. The only reason you will have available is “irreconcilable differences.” Infidelity and other forms of marital misconduct do not typically impact the division of assets and debts, spousal maintenance, or child custody decisions in Illinois divorce cases. However, there are ways that adultery or an affair partner can influence divorce determinations.

Dissipation of Assets

Dissipation of assets occurs when a spouse uses or destroys money or property for a purpose not related to the marriage after the relationship has experienced an irreparable breakdown. One of the most classic examples of dissipation occurs when a spouse uses marital or non-marital property to fund an affair. For example, consider a marriage in which both spouses are unhappy. The spouses no longer share a bed or share their lives with each other. The wife has an affair. She uses $10,000 worth of savings to go on a vacation with her secret boyfriend. Through a dissipation of assets claim during the property division process, the woman’s husband may be able to recover the funds that were spent during the extramarital affair.

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IL divorce lawyerThe division of property and debt is often one of the most important aspects of divorce. If you are ending your marriage, you may have questions about how your shared assets will be divided between you and your spouse. If you are like many soon-to-be-divorced people, you are especially concerned with ownership of the family home. Your house, condominium, or other residence is not only a valuable asset in the financial sense, it is also valuable for sentimental and personal reasons. If you are a parent, the family home may also represent stability and familiarity to your children. Understandably, the question of who gets the house is often one of the top concerns in a divorce case.

Illinois Law Regarding the Marital Home

The court does not always allocate marital assets in a divorce. In most cases, the spouses are able to reach a property division settlement outside of court with help from their attorneys. Some couples decide to sell the home and divide the profits from the sale evenly. Other couples decide that one spouse will keep the home while the other spouse keeps property of equivalent value.

However, if a couple does not reach an agreement, property is allocated according to the rules set forth by Illinois law. Illinois courts allocate marital property to spouses in a manner that is equitable, or fair, according to the spouses’ financial circumstances, employability, child custody arrangements, and other factors.

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IL divorce lawyerFor ex-spouses and families to transition to a new normal after divorce, they must follow several steps. Depending on the situation, the divorce process can range from amicable and smooth to hostile and complicated. When spouses wish to end their marriage on good terms, they may want to pursue an uncontested divorce which allows for a quicker and cheaper divorce. However, in times of divorce, it may be very difficult for divorcing couples to agree on every aspect that has to be determined. These disagreements will likely lead to a contested divorce. Regardless of what route is appropriate, each individual should be aware of what challenges may lay ahead.

Contested Divorces

A divorce may become contested for numerous reasons. Disagreements regarding finalizing the divorce and conditions applied to the dissolution of the marriage often cause substantial conflict between the spouses. Some of the most prevalent issues faced in a contested divorce include whether to get a divorce, where any shared minor children should live, what amount of child support should be paid, where a family pet will live, how assets and debts should be divided, and whether any spousal support should be provided.

Before a contested divorce can be properly settled, it is highly suggested that each spouse collaborates with a separate attorney. Because so much of a divorce dispute will involve a court and various legal procedures, each party will want their own representation that is able to analyze and administer complexities and issues that arise.

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