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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.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysWhen a married couple divorces, they will need to decide how all of their marital assets are divided. If spouses cannot reach an agreement about property distribution, the court will decide a property division arrangement on the couple’s behalf. One question many divorcing individuals have is, “How are pets managed during divorce?” Although you probably think of your dog, cat, horse, bird, fish, or reptile as more of a family member than a piece of property, the law generally treats pets as property. However, Illinois made changes to the way “pet custody” is handled during divorce in 2018. Read on to learn about this relatively new law and how it may affect your divorce case.  

Pet Ownership Laws in Illinois

Pets are still effectively considered property for the purposes of divorce in Illinois. If a pet is considered a non-marital asset, it will be assigned to the original owner. If the pet is considered a marital asset, a determination will need to be made regarding who will own the pet after the divorce. Although pets are not treated exactly the same as children in a divorce, the new law does make a distinction between pets and other property like bank accounts and furniture. Section 503 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that if the pet is considered to be part of the marital estate, the court “shall allocate the sole or joint ownership of and responsibility for a companion animal of the parties…the court shall take into consideration the well-being of the companion animal.”

Sometimes, a spouse will argue for ownership of a pet simply to get revenge on the other spouse or draw out the divorce proceedings out of spite. Illinois judges consider which spouse can best provide for the pet’s welfare and who has been the primary caretaker for the pet in the past. This helps reduce the incidences of spouse acquiring ownership of a pet that they do not actually plan to love and care for. Spouses may also choose to share responsibility for pets.

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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.

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