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Kane County divorce attorneys If you and your spouse are getting divorced, it may seem reasonable to assume that you would get to keep the assets and debts that are in your name while your spouse keeps those that are in  hers. While such an assumption may be fairly logical, the reality of divorce is often much different, as the laws that govern divorce in Illinois are intended to ensure an equitable distribution of marital property.

Understanding Equitable Distribution

A few states require marital property to be evenly divided during a divorce. These states use what is called a “community property” system, meaning that any assets and debts acquired during the marriage—except for a few limited exceptions—belong equally to both spouses. In a divorce in community property states, the property must be divided equally.

Illinois is not a community property state; it follows a system referred to as “equitable distribution.” Under the principles of equitable distribution, the marital estate is to be divided between the parties in a divorce in a manner that is fair and just, not necessarily a 50-50 split. To determine what is fair and just, the court must take into account a wide variety of factors, including each party's income and earning ability, arrangements for the parties' children, and the standard of living established during the marriage.

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Kane County divorce attorney

While every divorcee’s journey is unique, most find themselves operating in crisis mode. This is generally because divorce does more than just end a marriage. It also changes friendships, can damage relationships with an extended family that they have grown to love, and requires them to even divide time with any children they may share. In short, divorce impacts almost every aspect of a person’s life, so to find yourself in emotional turmoil is normal. It does not have to last forever, though. In fact, you can do more than just survive divorce—you can thrive and find the best version of yourself.

Let the People You Love Support You

Ultimately, some of your friendships and relationships may end along with your marriage. Yet, there will likely be others that flourish. Friends that you might not have been quite as close to before may prove to be sound allies because they know what it is like to be in your shoes. Your own family may offer to pick up the kids from school or take them to the doctors because they love you and want to help. Let them in and give them permission to support you. More importantly, give yourself permission to be vulnerable with those that care about you the most. This might prove to be difficult at first, especially if you feel you have failed and that others might judge you for it, but it does get easier the more you do it.

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Kane County divorce lawyersMarriages end for countless reasons. Sometimes, a married couple decides to divorce because one of the spouses has had an affair. Studies show that about 20 percent of men and 13 percent of women admit to cheating on their spouse during their marriage. If you are in this situation, you may wonder whether infidelity will influence your divorce proceedings. The answer will likely depend on your particular set of circumstances.

The Elimination of Fault-Based Divorce in Illinois

When a couple gets a divorce, the petitioner, or person requesting the divorce, must list the “grounds” or reasons for the divorce. In the past, Illinois allowed spouses to list fault-based grounds such as adultery, abandonment, or physical or mental cruelty as the reason for the divorce. However, all fault-based grounds have since been eliminated. Anyone seeking a divorce in Illinois must only prove that “irreconcilable differences” have caused the breakdown of the marriage and that efforts at reconciliation are not in the couple’s best interests. This means that a spouse’s adultery will not be listed as the reason for the divorce. However, this does not mean that adultery will not impact any divorce proceedings.

Cheating May Still Impact Divorce Proceedings

“Dissipation of assets” refers to a situation in which a spouse misuses or wastes assets at the end of a marriage. If a spouse spent a great deal of money during the affair or gave his or her paramour valuable property, this may be considered dissipation. The spouse guilty of dissipation may receive a reduced share of the marital estate during property division while the wronged spouse receives a greater share in order to compensate him or her for the dissipated assets.

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Kane County family law attorneysWhenever a divorce case goes to litigation, the involved parties give up a great deal of control regarding the situation. While a deal could possibly be brokered by the court, contentiousness and acrimony are more likely to develop. In addition, court dates are often set months out in advance, with very little happening in between. Thus, what could have been a relatively simple divorce has deteriorated into a long, drawn-out process causing serious levels of stress and bitterness. For many couples, however, mediation may provide a much more reasonable avenue for reaching a divorce agreement, allowing them to move at their own pace and addressing the issues that matter most.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that involves at least two parties and a neutral, third-party facilitator. The parties and the facilitator, known as a mediator, engage in negotiation-oriented discussions aimed at developing a resolution that is agreeable for everyone involved. Mediation is used in a wide variety of legal applications and is very often a part of divorce and family law proceedings. Parties to a mediated divorce may choose to retain their own attorneys, depending on the complexity of the case. The best mediators are also attorneys, allowing them to much better be able to address some of the legal issues that may arise during the process.

Flexible Scheduling

In addition to the cooperative nature of mediation, the method is also very attractive for many couples due to its inherent flexibility. The restrictive scheduling of court dockets often requires both parties to take off work, make childcare arrangements, and spend weeks waiting for the opportunity to be heard. Most mediators, on the other hand, make themselves much more available to meet the needs of a particular couple. Many offer evening or weekend sessions to allow for faster progress and, ultimately, more efficient resolution.

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If you are considering ending your marriage, you probably have a myriad of questions. You may be unsure of what to expect during the divorce process or whether or not you will need to hire a lawyer. You may also wonder how cooperative or uncooperative your soon-to-be-ex-spouse will be during the divorce process. Unfortunately, you cannot control how accommodating your spouse will be during the divorce. Fortunately, you can control your own actions.

One of the best ways to help your divorce go as smoothly as possible is to educate yourself about your options moving forward. One option which is available to Illinois residents getting a divorce is mediation. Mediation can be a valuable tool for couples who wish to figure out divorce issues outside of litigation. However, mediation is not for everyone.

What Does Divorce Mediation Involve?

During divorce mediation, a divorcing couple meets with a specially-trained mediator who acts as a neutral third-party during discussions about divorce issues. A mediator does not make decisions for the couple but instead helps facilitate respectful, effective communication about these issues so that the couple can reach an agreement. A mediator can help couples decide how their property should be divided and make plans for child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance.

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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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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree