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Kane County divorce lawyerThere is little question that divorce can be a messy, often traumatic process. Unresolved anger and fear of an uncertain future can lead to a long, drawn-out proceeding that costs both spouses significant time, money, and energy. In many cases, a bitter, contentious divorce can destroy what was once a loving relationship, making it nearly impossible for the parties to even be in the same room for years into the future. Divorce, however, does not need to be this way. In fact, with a little work and the right attitude, a couple may find that an uncontested divorce may provide an opportunity to move forward with their lives more quickly and at much less expense.

Amicable or Uncontested Divorce

Sometimes referred to as an amicable divorce, an uncontested divorce is one that does not require the court to get involved in settling differences or ruling on issues between the spouses. Instead, the couple is able to reach a workable agreement regarding all of the necessary considerations, including:

  • Division of marital assets and debt;
  • Spousal support arrangements;
  • Parental responsibilities and parenting time schedules; and
  • Child support.

As long as the agreement is relatively fair and does not compromise the rights or best interests of the child in any way, the court will approve the agreement. In most cases, an uncontested divorce is much faster than litigation, and can often be completed with just a single appearance in court by the couple.

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Kane County divorce lawyersFor most couples who have gone through a divorce, there was probably not a single moment that suddenly clarified their decision to end the marriage. It, more likely, was the combination of many factors that ultimately led to the split. In many cases, spouses begin to think about divorce long before it ever becomes a reality, and often ask themselves similar questions.

Before contacting a divorce attorney, you should be able to clearly address, at least in your own mind:

Do You Want a Better Marriage?

Or, do you just want out? You may recognize serious problems in your relationship, but that does not necessarily mean that you no longer want to be with your spouse. If you can identify particular areas of concern, working on your marriage may be an option. Conversely, you may be ready to be done with your spouse, realizing that your relationship is not healthy for either of you.

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Kane County family law attorneysParenting after a divorce, separation, or break-up is challenging, to say the lease. If you have been allocated significantly less parenting time than your former partner, maintaining a meaningful relationship with your child can be even more difficult. What happens, though if the other parent convinces the court to restrict or limit your parenting time even further? A skilled parenting time lawyer can help you understand what recourse you may have, and work with you in taking the steps to restore your parental rights.

How Parenting Time Can Be Restricted

The driving principle of Illinois family law statutes that address children and parenting responsibilities is to serve the child’s best interests. In virtually every case, the court begins with the presumption that active participation by both parents is in the child’s best interest, and, therefore, will allocate parenting time to each parent based on the family’s circumstances. Your parenting time cannot be restricted unless the other parent can show that your lifestyle or behavior seriously endangers your child. These dangers can be to the child’s mental, moral, or physical health, as well as to his or her emotional development.

Examples of Restrictions

In an extreme situation, your right to parenting time may be suspended completely, but the court will usually try to avoid cutting you off altogether. Instead, your time with your child may be reduced or limited to certain physical locations. The court could also determine that you may only have your parenting time under the supervision of the other parent or a neutral third party. Additional restrictions could include keeping certain people away from your child, requiring you to abstain from drugs or alcohol immediately before and during your parenting time, and any other considerations the court finds to be necessary.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_divorce-costs-money-cash-broken-heart.jpgIn many divorce cases, finances are a major cause of contention. Depending on the complexity of a couple’s circumstances, the divorce process itself can be very expensive. In addition, divorce requires the marital estate, including all marital assets and debts, to be allocated between the parties.

When property division is left to the discretion of the court, Illinois law requires an equitable—not necessarily equal—allocation based on the consideration of a number of factors. These factors normally include the income and resources of each spouse, the contributions of each to the marital estate, and arrangements made for any children. The court must also consider claims of dissipation, or the inappropriate spending of marital assets by one spouse for purposes unrelated to the marriage. But are attorneys’ fees and other expenses of divorce considered “unrelated to the marriage?”

Unclear Statutory Guidance

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) gives the court presiding over a divorce case the authority to order one spouse to contribute toward the payment of attorney fees and related expenses of the other party. The court also has the discretion to order the repayment of dissipated assets to the marital estate by the offending spouse. However, the possibility of considering attorney fees and other divorce expenses as dissipation may not seem to be clearly addressed in the law. Thus, the court may rely on precedents set in previous decisions in making its determination.

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Kane County divorce attorneysThe decision to end a marriage through divorce is not a decision anyone takes lightly. If you are pregnant and in a marriage which you believe is irretrievable, you may be considering divorce. Getting a divorce while expecting a child can be challenging. Depending on your unique situation, it may be best to stay married until after the birth of your child while in other circumstances, divorcing while pregnant might be the better option. Whether your spouse is the parent of your expectant child or the pregnancy is a result of infidelity, divorce during pregnancy can become very complicated from a legal perspective.

Illinois No Longer Requires Fault Grounds for Divorce

Expecting a child cannot disallow a woman from filing for divorce. In the state of Illinois, you also do not have to prove any reason for wanting to end your marriage. The so-called “fault grounds” for divorce in Illinois have been eliminated in favor of one option: "irreconcilable differences.” Presently in Illinois, to be granted a divorce, you must only prove that:

  • Irreconcilable differences have caused the irreparable breakdown of the marriage;
  • Previous efforts at resolution have failed, and
  • Future efforts at reconciliation would not be in the best interests of the family.

In Illinois, a Woman’s Husband is Assumed to Be the Father

Illinois law provides that a woman’s husband is presumed to be the legal father of any children she conceives while married. This presumption of parentage also applies in same-sex marriages. A child conceived by a woman in a legal marriage will have rights to financial and medical support from the assumed parent, as well as Social Security and inheritance benefits. Furthermore, a presumed parent takes on all the legal responsibilities associated with being a parent, such as sharing child custody and providing child support.

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Wheaton, IL 60189
630-549-0960
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We serve clients throughout Kane County, Illinois including St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora, Elgin, Algonquin, Aurora, Barrington Hills, Bartlett, Big Rock, Burlington, Campton Hills, Carpentersville, East Dundee, Elburn, Hampshire, Huntley, Kaneville, Maple Park, Sleepy Hollow, Wayne, West Dundee as well as throughout DuPage County.

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