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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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Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce attorneysMaking the decision to get divorced is never easy and the process of ending a marriage can be painful and tedious. Understandably, many spouses want their divorce to be over as soon as possible. If you have decided to end your marriage in Illinois, you may be wondering, “How long will it take for my divorce to be finalized?” The answer will depend on a wide variety of factors including the married couple’s life circumstances, wealth, and ability to cooperate during the divorce process.

Complex Assets and High Net-Worth Will Complicate Property Division

Illinois divides marital property according to equitable division laws. Instead of property being split exactly evenly with each spouse receiving 50 percent of the marital estate, property is divided according to what is fair or equitable. The more property and debt a couple has accumulated during marriage, the more work it will take to divide this property and debt during divorce. The amount of time it will take for property division decisions to be finalized will largely depend on how well the couple cooperates, the value of their assets, and the type of property owned. Complex assets like retirement plans, pensions, and stock options can be harder to valuate and divide than other assets. If the couple has other complex investments such as a family business, the divorce process will likely take longer than average.

Disagreements Will Lengthen Your Divorce

When two people get married, it is not only a romantic union, but also a financial union. Spouses share assets, property, funds, and make joint purchases together. When disagreements about property division arise, this can extend the divorce process. Another way that a divorce becomes much more complex is when spouses disagree about how to share custody of children. Child custody is called the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois.

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DuPage County family law attorneysIt is an unfortunate reality that divorce can sometimes bring out the worst in people. When a marriage is ending, spouses can sometimes act in ways which deplete the martial estate. They may purposely waste marital funds so that the other spouse does not have access to them or they may have an expensive drug, alcohol, gambling, or shopping addiction which drains the estate. If you are getting divorced and your spouse has squandered shared assets, you may be able to recover these assets through a dissipation claim.

Illinois Law Regarding Dissipation of Assets

The term “dissipation” generally means to waste or spend resources frivolously or recklessly. With regard to divorce law, dissipation occurs when a spouse uses marital funds for a purpose not benefiting the marriage after the marriage has suffered an “irretrievable breakdown.” There is some ambiguity about what exactly constitutes this breakdown, but it is generally defined as the moment that a married couple ceases attempts at reconciliation. In other words, an irretrievable breakdown occurs when divorce is imminent.

Examples of Dissipation

The Illinois Supreme Court has defined dissipation as the sale or use of marital property “for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage.” This means that using marital funds for household bills or a mortgage payment is not dissipation. If a husband used thousands of dollars of martial funds on a vacation for him and his secret girlfriend during the end of his marriage, it is very likely that this would be considered dissipative. Similarly, if a wife has a substance abuse problem and spends a significant amount of money on drugs after the breakdown of her marriage, her spouse could claim dissipation. Spouses may also be able to file a dissipation claim when marital property “goes missing” and the other spouse cannot account for why the money or property was used.

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