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DuPage County family law attorneysLegally, it does not matter which spouse files for divorce in Illinois. The spouse that files for divorce is called the petitioner (or plaintiff), and the other is the defendant (or respondent.) Technically, this terminology has no impact on the outcome of a divorce. However, which spouse files for divorce can have subtle, largely subjective effects on the divorce proceedings, a few examples of which we will offer in this post. If your spouse filed for divorce or you plan to, do not hesitate to speak with a divorce attorney so that you can be better prepared to pursue a fair and sustainable outcome.

Why the Timing of Divorce Filing Could Matter

Before understanding the psychological consequences of filing for divorce, it is worth understanding how the time when a petitioner files can affect the divorce process. First, the court will most likely use the date of filing to determine the value of a couple’s assets that must be divided. If you wait too long to file, your spouse can dissipate your marital assets to try to prevent you from getting your fair share. It is possible to recover dissipated assets, but doing so is not always easy.

Also, the Illinois spousal maintenance formula uses the time of filing to calculate the duration of payments. A court will multiply the length of a marriage by other variables to determine the length of maintenance awards. Therefore, if you wait longer to file, the spouse responsible for paying alimony will have to do so for longer. Depending on which end of the relationship you are on, this may or may not benefit you.


Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce attorneyDivorce attorneys commonly see couples who no longer wish to be married but will not take the necessary steps to get a divorce. This situation can arise when the couple has drifted apart, is living apart, but neither spouse wants to bring up the topic of divorce. Such could also be the case if the couple has agreed to divorce, but neither spouse wants to initiate the process. If you find yourself in somewhere between married and divorced, there are some things you can do to move the process along.

Risks of Staying in Divorce Limbo

Legal and financial professionals advise against staying in divorce limbo for several reasons, including:


Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce attorneyDid you know that in some cases, people can choose the state in which they would like to file for divorce? Most people file for divorce in the state they reside in, but there are a few factors that may allow a divorcing couple to choose which state when there is more than one option. Why does it matter what state? States have differing divorce laws, so there may be advantages and disadvantages to filing in one state over another. Procedural rules also vary from state to state, and even the fee to file for divorce is different depending on the state, so it is important to consider your options if you do have the ability to choose one state over another.

Who Can Choose Where to File?

As stated above, most couples end up filing for divorce in the state they reside in. If, however, a couple owns property in another state, or if the couple already lives apart in separate states, they may be eligible to choose which state in which they would like to file. Couples curious about their filing options should meet with a qualified divorce attorney who can advise them on each state’s laws and the pros and cons of selecting one state over another. Keep in mind that because each state’s divorce laws vary, some states do restrict where you can file for divorce. For example, some states have restrictions on couples even if they have multiple homes in different states. On the other hand, some states require that any decision made about property must be decided in a court in the state where the property is located. Other states require that child custody be determined by the laws of the state where the children reside. The rules and requirements vary so greatly from state to state that it is always best to first consult an attorney.

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