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naperville divorce lawyerSubstance abuse is one of the most common reasons why couples get divorced. When one spouse suffers from addiction, it can affect his or her ability to keep a job and take care of the children. If your spouse is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the divorce process can become more complicated. As such, it is important to learn about your rights and prepare for the divorce process in advance. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you understand how substance abuse may impact your divorce case.

How Substance Abuse Can Affect a Divorce

Illinois is a no-fault state. To get divorced in Illinois, you must only show that you and your spouse have “irreconcilable differences” and can no longer make the marriage work. However, if one spouse has a substance abuse problem, it could impact divorce proceedings. If you and your spouse, for example, have children together, you may not want your spouse to have a significant portion of the parental responsibilities or parenting time.  Being addicted to drugs or alcohol can make it more difficult to provide children with a stable and safe environment. You may doubt your spouse’s ability to care for your child and keep him or her safe. 

Substance abuse can also have a massive financial impact on a married couple. If your spouse spent money or sold property to fund his or her addiction, you may have a valid “dissipation of assets” claim. You may be entitled to reimbursement for the “dissipated” or wasted assets. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce lawyerA divorce can be a very stressful ordeal, so it is understandable that you want to get it over with as soon as possible. A divorce can take anywhere from a few months to several years to finalize, depending on your individual circumstances. The good news is that you can take steps to accelerate the process. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you explore all of your legal options and choose the course of action that will expedite the divorce process as much as possible.

How to Hasten the Divorce Process

No one wants to go through the divorce process longer than they have to. Here are a few ways to move the process along.

  • Educate yourself about the latest divorce laws. Before you even file for divorce, you should learn about the various divorce laws in Illinois. For example, you can ask for a divorce in Illinois if you and your spouse have lived in the state for at least 90 days and been legally separated for at least six months.

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dupage county divorce lawyerWe love our pets in this country. It is estimated that there are more than 76 million companion pets living in American households. For most of us, our pets are not simply “pets,” but they are part of our family. But what happens when a couple who has one or more furry family members decide to divorce? As a DuPage County divorce attorney can explain, custody of pets can get just as contentious as custody of children in an Illinois divorce.

Illinois Pet Custody Laws

Until a few years ago, Illinois family law judges viewed pets in a divorce as property and treated the decision as to where the pet would live the same way they decided who would get the fine china or ATV. In 2018, lawmakers addressed this issue and changed the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) about how judges could address this issue.

The first change in the law was now referring to pets as “companion animals.” Keep in mind, however, companion animals are entirely separate from service animals. If a spouse has a service animal, as defined in the Illinois Human Care for Animals Act, that service animal is not included in the divorce settlement.

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Posted on in Divorce

bnaperville divorce lawyerWhen a couple decides to get married, they usually need to plan what type of wedding they will have. Will it be big or small, fancy or simple, expensive or inexpensive? When a couple decides to divorce, there is similar planning that may need to take place. Will the divorce be a costly one, drawn out with lots of disagreements and court hearings or will they be able to keep it fairly simple and inexpensive by working through issues together without the need for litigation?

Financial Issues in Divorce

Getting a divorce is expensive. Not only are there court and attorney fees to contend with, but in many cases, each spouse is going from living in a two-income household to a one-income household. Depending on living arrangements made after the split, at least one of the spouses has moved out of the family home into a new residence and has to purchase new furniture and necessary household items.

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naperville divorce lawyerThere is no denying that divorce will have a financial impact on most couples. Even if the divorce is a “friendly” one without disagreements about how the marital estate should be divided, each spouse will still have to adjust to going from a two-income household to a one-income home. Keeping that in mind, there are certain steps you can take to help alleviate some of that financial pressure and ensure you are prepared once the divorce process is complete.

How Much Money Do You and Your Spouse Have?

While this may seem like an obvious question, many spouses do not know the answer to that question, especially if the other spouse is the one who handled all the family finances. Make sure you know exactly how much you have in checking and saving accounts, retirement accounts, and any other financial accounts you have. It is also important to know how much marital debt you have, so find out the balance for any mortgages and equity loans, vehicle loans, credit card bills, etc.

If you are planning to divorce, this is also a good time to get your own checking and saving accounts and apply for at least one major credit card in your own name to begin building a separate credit history.

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