Pesce Law Group, P.C.


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Naperville, IL order of protection attorney

Intimate partner violence is tragically common. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 20 people are abused by a spouse or significant other every minute in the United States. Ten million U.S. men and women are victims of physical abuse from a romantic partner every year. If you have been physically abused by your spouse, you should know that you are not alone. Making the choice to leave an abusive spouse is an extraordinarily brave decision. If you are considering divorcing a spouse who has abused you, there are some special considerations you may want to keep in mind.

Orders of Protection

If you are worried that your spouse will harm you or your children once he or she learns that you plan to divorce him or her, you may want to obtain an order of protection, sometimes called a restraining order. An Illinois emergency order of protection (EOP) can be obtained at your county courthouse without the need for your spouse to be present.


Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce lawyersIf you are considering a divorce, there are probably countless questions going through your head. Ending a marriage will create a degree of uncertainty in almost every situation. You may be unsure of how you will get by on your own, how co-parenting will work, and whether you will ever be ready to give love another chance. In addition, you are also likely to have concerns about the process itself. Unfortunately, one of the most common questions is one that is among the most difficult to answer definitively. How long will it take to complete a divorce? It is almost impossible to say for sure.

Contributing Factors

The speed and efficiency of the divorce process depend on a wide range of variables. Some will be related to your specific situation, while others will be beyond your control. For example, the current caseload in the county where you file your divorce petition can impact your case by several weeks or more, but you and your spouse can do little, if anything, about the court’s schedule.

On the other hand, the number and complexity of issues that you bring before the court will also affect how long the process takes. If you file your petition for divorce but have made no progress on reaching a reasonable property settlement, it will probably require several court appearances—spanning several months, most likely—for the court to determine an equitable allocation. If your child-related concerns are equally unresolved, you should be prepared for a longer process.


Naperville divorce attorneyAs you approach the divorce process, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may already have most of the details covered. It is not uncommon for a couple to “pre-negotiate,” if you will, regarding the various necessary considerations before the petition for divorce is even filed. For the vast majority of cases, this is very welcome, and a much lower-stress alternative to a long, drawn-out courtroom battle, the impact of which may be felt by both parties for years into the future. For some couples, however, their negotiated agreement might not meet the court’s standards and could be rejected on the grounds of being unconscionable. It is important to understand just what that means so you can be prepared to avoid such a response from the court.

Negotiate with an Understanding of the Law

While you certainly do not need to be an attorney to reach a reasonable agreement with your spouse, it does help to have a basic grasp of what the Illinois divorce laws require. This is especially applicable to concerns for property division, and spousal maintenance. A negotiated agreement does not necessarily need to adhere to each and every provision in the related laws, but understanding what the law considers to be just and equitable is a good place to start. From there, you and your soon-to-be ex can create virtually any type of settlement you wish, as long as it is reasonably fair to both parties and your children.

Unconscionable Agreements

Before the final decree of divorce is entered, the court will need to approve your settlement agreement. For issues unrelated to parental responsibilities, parenting time, or child support, the court must include the agreement in the decree, unless the terms of the agreement are found to be unconscionable, or too one-sided. For example, if, for some reason, you presented a signed agreement to the court that gives 100% of the marital estate to your spouse without valid justification, the agreement would not likely be approved.


Naperville divorce attorneysIt is estimated that about one out of five U.S. parents are stay-at-home-parents who do not work outside of the home. The majority of stay-at-home parents are mothers, but data shows that many fathers are choosing to stay home with their children as well. If you are a stay-at-home parent who is considering getting divorced, you probably have many concerns. You may worry, “How will I financially support myself without my spouse’s income? Will I still be able to stay home with my children?” Stay-at-home-parents who divorce face a different set of circumstances than parents who have had a career outside of the home, so it is important to know your options.

Property is Divided According to Equitable Distribution in Illinois

In some states, marital property is split exactly in half during divorce. Illinois, however, uses a method of property division called equitable distribution. Marital estates in Illinois are divided equitably, or fairly, but not necessarily equally. Factors considered by Illinois courts during property division disputes include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The value of each spouse’s separate or non-marital property
  • The value of the marital property expected to be allocated to each spouse;
  • Each spouse’s income, employability, and overall financial circumstances
  • Any child support or spousal maintenance obligations that a spouse has from a previous relationship
  • The contributions each spouse made to the value of the marital estate
  • Non-financial contributions to the marriage made by a spouse acting as a homemaker or stay-at-home-parent
  • Child custody and child support provisions

You May Be Eligible for Spousal Support

Spousal maintenance, also called spousal support or alimony, are payments that one spouse makes to the other after a divorce. When a spouse has not had a typical job in many years, spousal support can help give them the financial assistance they need to get back on their feet. Spousal support is generally intended to be temporary and only lasts as long as it will take the recipient spouse to gain the skills and education needed to find suitable employment. Permanent spousal support may be awarded if the recipient spouse cannot support themselves financially or after a marriage lasting 20 years or more.


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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