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Oak Brook divorce attorney for alternative dispute resolutionGoing through a divorce is likely to be one of the most difficult things you ever do. Fortunately, divorce is also an opportunity to start anew and build a better future. There are several things that you can do now to make the divorce process go more smoothly. If you are planning for divorce, these actions will not ensure a pain-free divorce; however, they may help you avoid mistakes that can make the divorce process more difficult than it needs to be.

Tips for Planning for Divorce

If you are planning to end your marriage, but you have not yet filed for divorce, there are many things you can do now to help prevent unnecessary stress and complications. Hiring an attorney who is experienced in handling the divorce issues you will likely encounter is one of the best first steps that you can take. Additionally, it may be a good idea to:

  • Take stock of your financial situation. Gather financial documents such as tax returns, bank statements, retirement account statements, and loan documents. Assess the assets and liabilities you and your spouse currently own.


Wheaton spousal support attorneyAlimony refers to financial support that a spouse pays to a financially-dependent spouse after the couple’s divorce. These payments, which are referred to as “spousal maintenance” in Illinois law, are typically awarded when there is a major disparity in income between the spouses. Many spouses require financial support in the form of alimony because they gave up career advancements in favor of homemaking or child-rearing responsibilities. The purpose of spousal maintenance is to place both spouses in financial circumstances similar to what they enjoyed while they were married after they get divorced.

Alimony May Be Temporary, Permanent, or Rehabilitative

Divorce cases can take multiple months or even several years to complete. Some spouses request temporary alimony while the divorce is ongoing. Temporary alimony typically terminates when the divorce is finalized and the spouses become subject to the terms of the final divorce decree.

Maintenance awarded in the divorce decree may be ordered for a specific time period, or it may be indefinite.  Spousal maintenance is often intended to be rehabilitative in nature. These types of alimony payments give the recipient spouse time to secure the education, training, and/or employment he or she needs to be self-supporting. In a minority of cases, alimony is permanent and only terminates once the recipient remarries or cohabitates with a romantic partner, or either spouse passes away.


Oak Brook divorce settlement attorneyIf you are like many people thinking about divorce, you probably have little to no experience dealing with the Illinois court system. However, it is important to remember that marriage is a legal union, and undoing that union can be a considerable legal undertaking. Do-it-yourself divorce may initially seem like a good idea. You may be worried about attorneys’ fees, or you may assume that hiring a lawyer will automatically make your situation more contentious. However, many people who decide to take on their divorce without legal assistance soon realize that DIY divorce often causes more problems than it solves. One-size-fits-all solutions are often extremely shortsighted, and they can lead to avoidable financial losses and needless stress.

Divorce Cases Change and Evolve Over Time

Many divorcing spouses still care about their soon-to-be ex and wish to minimize contention as much as possible during the divorce. They may assume that they do not need a lawyer to represent them during the divorce because they are still on good terms with their spouse. Unfortunately, as many divorced people can tell you, the process of ending a marriage can bring out the worst in some people. You are not guaranteed a problem-free divorce simply because the split began amicably. 

By hiring a divorce lawyer, you ensure that you have an advocate on your side should circumstances change. Your lawyer will protect your rights and guide you through the divorce process from beginning to end. If you are worried that hiring an attorney will create unnecessary tension between you and your spouse, it is important to hire an attorney who takes a cooperative approach to divorce cases rather than an aggressive approach. During a “collaborative divorce,” divorcing spouses and their attorneys work together instead of against each other in pursuit of a mutually-agreeable settlement.

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