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naperville divorce lawyerEnding a marriage is never easy, even when you have decided that it is the best choice for you and your children. No matter the circumstances that brought you to this point, the divorce process is often a painful one and you may find yourself dealing with anger, stress, sadness, and even grief. While you work through the emotional issues of divorce, there are also legal issues that must be dealt with. Having a skilled Naperville divorce attorney looking out for your best interests is crucial during this time.

Choosing Your Divorce Attorney

Once you have made the decision to file for divorce, it is important to discover and understand what all of your legal options are. Some people do consider filing for divorce without an attorney, however, if you and your spouse have children, property, and/or debt, it is best to hire an attorney to handle the divorce for you. 

It is also important to hire an attorney who specializes in divorces and other Illinois family law issues. An attorney who does not regularly handle divorce or child custody cases may not recognize certain common divorce or custody issues that could come up in your case and this could result in a negative ruling against you. Attorneys have areas of specialty just like doctors do. You do not want to go to an attorney who usually only handles personal injury cases or estate plans to handle your divorce.

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Naperville divorce lawyerIf you have decided to divorce and started the process of researching your options, you may feel as if you are being bombarded with unfamiliar legal terms. Many people who divorce have never been involved in a legal dispute or even stepped foot inside of a courtroom before, so it can understandably be overwhelming. One aspect of divorce that people often have questions about is divorce “discovery.” The discovery process involves each party and his or her respective attorney obtaining information and evidence from the other party. This fact-checking portion of the divorce process is an essential part of ensuring that the divorce settlement or judgment you receive is based on accurate and complete information.

What is Involved in Divorce Discovery?

The duration and complexity of discovery will depend on the value and complexity of each party’s assets, the level of contention between the spouses, and how willing the spouses are to be honest and forthcoming about personal information. When a spouse attempts to hide assets, lie about income sources, or is otherwise unwilling to be transparent about finances, the discovery process becomes even more crucial. Discovery can involve a number of different methods for exchanging information, including:

  • Disclosure: When a couple files for divorce, one of the first things each spouse will be asked to do is fill out a financial affidavit listing his or her assets, income, and debts. Each party will have the opportunity to review the affidavit and request additional information.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysAccording to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 20 million Americans suffered from a substance abuse disorder in 2017. If your spouse has a drug or alcohol addition, you know just how quickly a substance abuse problem can take over a person’s life. An expensive drug or alcohol problem can also cause people to make impulsive and destructive financial decisions. When divorcing a person with a substance abuse problem, it is crucial that you take steps to shelter your assets from misuse. There are several different protections that you can put in place that will help prevent your property from being used to further your spouse’s addiction.

Financial Restraining Orders

When most people hear the term “restraining order,” they think about a protection order for victims of domestic violence. A financial restraining order, however, is a different type of court order that freezes marital assets from being misused during divorce. The order may prohibit both you and your spouse from selling marital property, closing bank accounts, limiting the other spouse’s access to an account, changing beneficiaries, and more. Typically, a temporary financial restraining order lasts only 10 days. However, you can request a longer protection period by attending a court hearing and explaining your reasons for seeking financial protection.

Legal Separation and Postnuptial Agreements

It can be difficult to know for sure when a marriage is beyond saving. If you are not ready to file for divorce but you are worried that you spouse will waste assets on his or her addiction, one option to consider is a legal separation. Spouses who are legally separated are still technically married but they are not responsible for the debt accumulated by the other spouse after the separation has been issued. If you and your spouse reconcile, you can easily terminate the separation, and if the situation does not improve, you still have the option to divorce.

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