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3 Myths and Misunderstandings About Illinois Divorces

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorney asset division

If you are considering divorce, you may understandably be feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused. The idea of dealing with the court system can be daunting – especially if you have never stepped foot inside of a courtroom before. Your confusion and anxiety may be exacerbated by well-intentioned friends and family who give you divorce advice that is simply untrue or does not apply to Illinois divorce cases. Fortunately, you do not have to face divorce alone. An experienced divorce lawyer will be able to give you the legal guidance you need to manage this difficult time in your life and move on to a brighter future.

Myth: I Will Need to Prove That My Spouse Did Something Wrong to Be Granted a Divorce

When a married individual files a petition for divorce, called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Illinois, they are essentially asking the judge to grant him or her a divorce. In the past, Illinois had both fault and no-fault grounds, or reasons, for divorce. Fault-based grounds were issues such as infidelity or mental cruelty. However, Illinois has since eliminated all fault-based grounds for divorce. Now, the only available ground for divorce is “irreconcilable differences.”

Myth: I Must Be Legally Separated Before I Will Be Granted a Divorce

Misunderstandings are often caused by people using the term “separation” to refer to both physical separation and legal separation. Simply living apart is not the same thing as being legally separated. A legal separation is an official court order that involves legally enforceable directions about issues like child custody and spousal support. You do not need to be legally separated before being issued a divorce. In fact, If you and your spouse agree that irreconcilable differences have led to the breakdown of your marriage and neither spouse objects to the divorce, you are not subject to a mandated physical separation period before you can file. If your spouse does contest the divorce, living separate and apart for six months satisfies the requirement of irreconcilable differences.

Myth: I Will Probably Need to Go to Trial

Divorces depicted in television and movies lead many people to believe that most divorce cases involve courtroom litigation. In reality, only about five percent of all divorces go to trial. If you and your spouse cannot agree on issues such as property division, spousal maintenance, or the allocation of parental responsibilities, there are several ways you may be able to resolve these issues without litigation. Mediation and collaborative law are alternative dispute resolution approaches that have helped countless couples reach an agreement about the terms of their divorce.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer

The knowledgeable DuPage County divorce attorneys at The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. are equipped to offer trustworthy legal guidance and support during your divorce. Whether you and your spouse agree on the terms of your divorce or you disagree about spousal maintenance, child custody, child support, or the division of assets, we are here to help. Call our office today at 630-462-9500 to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your legal needs.



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