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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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Naperville parenting plan attorneysIf you are a parent who is considering a divorce, there is a good chance that you probably worried about how your divorce will affect your children. While you most likely realize that children are resilient and able to adapt, it is understandable that you might have fears about how your kids will handle your divorce and the related concerns.

One of the best things that you can do for your children is to commit to cooperating with your ex-spouse when it comes to child-related issues. Cooperative parenting—also called co-parenting—starts with a comprehensive parenting plan. A parenting plan is also required under Illinois law for divorcing parents who wish to share parental responsibilities. Your parenting plan must contain provisions for dividing decision-making authority, each parent’s days with the children, and other important matters. It must also address whether one or both parents will have the right of first refusal for extra parenting time.

Understanding the Right of First Refusal

The phrase “first refusal” might sound negative, but the right of first refusal can actually be a very good thing. The right of first refusal refers to the right of a parent to be offered additional parenting time when the other parent requires child care during the other parent’s scheduled time. The parent who is offered the additional parenting time is not obligated to accept it; instead, he or she has the right to refuse it.  

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DuPage County divorce attorneysWhile divorce at any age can be a complex endeavor, older couples getting divorced often face additional complications that younger couples may avoid. The longer a couple is together, the more interwoven their lives become – both personally and financially. Older individuals often own more complex assets like family business, life insurance policies, retirement plans, pensions, stock options, brokerage accounts, and deferred compensation which can significantly complicate divorce. Furthermore, spousal maintenance is often ordered when a long marriage ends. If you are over age 50 and are planning to divorce, keep the following information in mind.

Divorce Rate for Older Couples Has Risen Significantly

More and more older couples are getting divorced than ever before. This is especially true for the post-retirement age group. In fact, the divorce rate for people aged 65+ has more than doubled since 1990. This trend, nicknamed “gray divorce,” may be occurring for several reasons. Firstly, the stigma surrounding divorce which existed for decades has nearly disappeared. Divorce is not seen as something to be ashamed of in today's world. Secondly, many older adults are gaining the confidence to choose the path in life which makes them the happiest. For some, this means ending a marriage.

The Length of a Marriage Can Influence Property and Support Decisions

Gray divorce can come with substantial hurdles. Couples that have been married a long time will have naturally accumulated a significant collection of assets and property. Divorcing couples are encouraged by Illinois courts to distribute their marital property among themselves, but this is not always possible. If a couple cannot agree on property division issues, the court will intervene. In Illinois, division of marital assets and liabilities falls under the concept of equitable distribution. This means that the property and debt division will be equitable or fair, but not necessarily 50/50.

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