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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneysIf you have reached the point in your marriage where you believe that your relationship is beyond saving, you have most likely given a great deal of thought to filing for divorce. In fact, a divorce might be your best option. However, you might be hesitant to file your divorce petition while you and your spouse are still sharing a home. As you probably realize, many couples will go through a “trial separation” before filing for divorce, but is a separation actually necessary? According to the law in Illinois, the answer is “not usually.”

Legal Separation vs. Living Separate and Apart

It is important to understand that very few couples pursue legal separation in Illinois. A legal separation is similar, in many aspects, to a divorce, with the primary difference being that the couple is still legally married. While seeking a legal separation, issues such as spousal maintenance and parental responsibilities must be addressed, and the couple could opt to divide their property as well. (The court will make property division decisions for a legal separation.) Once an order for legal separation has been entered, it can only be vacated by a petition by the spouses or by a subsequent judgment of divorce.

On the other hand, most couples will undergo a period of living separate and apart before they get divorced. In such cases, one spouse will typically stay with family or find an apartment while the couple decides whether or not to continue working on their relationship. In some situations, the decision to get divorced has already been made before one of the spouses moves out.

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Naperville family law attorneysIt is hard to say exactly how many people have ever cheated on their spouse or significant other. Most such surveys on the issue are based on self-reporting, and those who cheat are not known to be especially honest about their behavior. Additionally, each couple may have a different definition of what constitutes being unfaithful. Of course, the statistics of cheating matter very little to an individual who learns that his or her spouse is guilty of infidelity. While many couples are able to rebuild after instances of cheating, others never fully recover and may elect to pursue a divorce.

Is Cheating Grounds for Divorce?

Under Illinois law, marital infidelity is not technically grounds for divorce. A divorce in Illinois will only be granted on the basis of irreconcilable differences causing an irrevocable breakdown of the marriage. Obviously, a cheating spouse can cause irreconcilable differences, but family courts in Illinois have no interest in establishing fault in a divorce. This also means, however, that the spouse who was cheated on does not need to prove that his or her spouse was unfaithful. In filing for the divorce, the offended spouse must only prove that the marriage is beyond saving.

The Effects of Infidelity on a Divorce

We live in a society where we largely expect wrongdoers to be held accountable for their actions. Convicted criminals go to prison, and companies whose products cause injuries are required to compensate victims. So, what about a cheating spouse? Could he or she face any type of legal or financial consequences?

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Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce attorneysMaking the decision to get divorced is never easy and the process of ending a marriage can be painful and tedious. Understandably, many spouses want their divorce to be over as soon as possible. If you have decided to end your marriage in Illinois, you may be wondering, “How long will it take for my divorce to be finalized?” The answer will depend on a wide variety of factors including the married couple’s life circumstances, wealth, and ability to cooperate during the divorce process.

Complex Assets and High Net-Worth Will Complicate Property Division

Illinois divides marital property according to equitable division laws. Instead of property being split exactly evenly with each spouse receiving 50 percent of the marital estate, property is divided according to what is fair or equitable. The more property and debt a couple has accumulated during marriage, the more work it will take to divide this property and debt during divorce. The amount of time it will take for property division decisions to be finalized will largely depend on how well the couple cooperates, the value of their assets, and the type of property owned. Complex assets like retirement plans, pensions, and stock options can be harder to valuate and divide than other assets. If the couple has other complex investments such as a family business, the divorce process will likely take longer than average.

Disagreements Will Lengthen Your Divorce

When two people get married, it is not only a romantic union, but also a financial union. Spouses share assets, property, funds, and make joint purchases together. When disagreements about property division arise, this can extend the divorce process. Another way that a divorce becomes much more complex is when spouses disagree about how to share custody of children. Child custody is called the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysThe decision to end your marriage is never an easy one, but perhaps no other group has as difficult of a decision to make as parents. Many parents try everything they can to stay together, but ultimately decide that they simply cannot make their marriage work. If you are a parent who has decided to divorce, you probably spend a lot of time worrying about how the divorce will affect your children. While it is likely that the transition will be challenging for the whole family, children are fully capable of living a happy, healthy life with divorced parents. Read on to learn the top three tips experts say will help your children cope with your divorce.

Tip #1: Do Not Fight in Front of the Kids

The number one thing that mental health and child development experts say not to do during divorce is to fight with your spouse in front of the children. Because children naturally have a self-centered view of the world around them, they often think that parental arguments are somehow their fault. It is best to keep adult conversations away from the children whenever possible. If you need to have a heated discussion with your spouse, try to find a place which is out of kids’ earshot to do so.

Tip #2: Allow Children to Express Their Feelings When They Are Able

Children can have a wide range of reactions to the news that their parents are getting divorced. While some will immediately start crying and expressing their sadness about the split, others will not immediately be ready to discuss their feelings. Try to give children the space they need to process the complicated emotions that come with this major life change. Let them know that you are available to talk and answer questions, but do not force the conversation. When children are ready to talk, they will, as long as they feel safe to express themselves.

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Naperville divorce attorneysFormer NBC news anchor Matt Lauer’s wife of 20 years has formally filed for divorce. The couple is seeking an uncontested divorce, but many factors will likely complicate and possibly draw out the split. Lauer is estimated to have made over $100 million during his tenure at NBC, and the couple has invested much of this money into extravagant real estate purchases. Not only is the couple quite wealthy, but they have also been married for two decades and have three children together.

Couples who divorce after a long marriage often experience a much different dissolution process than couples who have had short marriages. If you are considering ending your long-term marriage, there are several considerations you should keep in mind.

You or Your Spouse May Be Eligible for Spousal Support

Spousal support, also referred to as spousal maintenance or alimony, is not awarded in every divorce case. Illinois family courts consider many factors when determining whether or not spousal support is appropriate. These factors include but are not limited to:

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