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DuPage County amicable divorce attorneyIf you are thinking about divorce, it is important to carefully consider the information and advice that you are getting from others. Even though they have good intentions, many people unknowingly spread rumors and false information about issues like property division, child custody, or spousal support. Television and movies have also perpetuated many of the popular falsehoods regarding divorce. The best place to get legal advice and dependable support is an experienced divorce lawyer.

Myth #1: Infidelity or Marital Misconduct Will Be a Crucial Factor

Cheating and infidelity have ended countless marriages. If you are divorcing because one of you cheated, you may assume that this “marital misconduct” will play a major role in your divorce. On the contrary, the reason that a marriage ends rarely affects the outcome of a divorce in Illinois. Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, which means that there are no fault-based grounds for divorce. You will simply state that “irreconcilable differences” have led to the end of your marriage. In addition, marital misconduct will usually not be considered when addressing the division of marital property, spousal maintenance, or parenting issues. The main way that infidelity can affect a divorce is if the unfaithful spouse spent considerable money or property to finance the affair. In this case, the wronged spouse may have a valid “dissipation of assets” claim, and they may be awarded a greater share of the marital estate.

Myth #2: Everything Will Be Split Equally

Division of assets and debts in a divorce is handled differently depending on the state. In Illinois, property is divided according to “equitable distribution.” This means that property is divided fairly based on the spouses’ financial circumstances and other factors. Spouses may also settle property division issues on their own, outside of court. Mediation is an alternative resolution method that many spouses use to discuss their divorce issues and reach an agreement about how ownership of their property will be handled.

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Wheaton, IL property division attorneyMost marriages involve division of labor. One spouse may be in charge of grocery shopping and cooking while the other spouse handles homework, soccer practice, or other child-related matters. One spouse may handle lawn maintenance and home repair as the other focuses on laundry and indoor chores. While dividing responsibilities is common in a marriage, there is one way in which this division of labor can put a spouse in a very vulnerable position during a divorce. If you have not been involved in household financial decisions, it is important to start learning about your finances as soon as possible.

Being Ignorant of Your Financial Situation Can Lead to an Unfair Divorce Settlement

In an interview recently published in the Wall Street Journal Magazine, Kris Jenner admitted that she was embarrassingly uninformed about her own finances during her marriage to Robert Kardashian, Sr. She explains that she did not know how much she and her husband spent on household expenses and never once paid a bill. Jenner’s story is not uncommon. Many spouses leave the financial management to the other spouse. Unfortunately, ignorance is not bliss when it comes to finances and divorce, and if you do not fully understand your financial situation, this can put you at a disadvantage when negotiating a divorce settlement.

Start Gathering Financial Documents Now

If you are planning to get a divorce, it is important to know where you and your spouse stand financially. Property that is acquired by either spouse during a marriage is typically considered marital property. Both spouses have a right to an equitable share of marital property. Debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage are also jointly held by the spouses. 

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Elmhurst petition for divorce attorneySometimes, when a couple decides to get a divorce, both spouses are on the same page. In other situations, a spouse may be caught totally off guard when he or she is served with divorce papers. Regardless of what led up to this moment, once you have been served with a divorce petition, you need to take several important actions. You may understandably be very upset about what has happened, and you may be tempted to ignore the petition or even throw it away. However, doing so will only worsen your situation.

Read the Petition Entirely

The first step you should take after receiving a petition for the dissolution of marriage is to actually read the document. This may seem obvious, but many people jump to conclusions without reading the entire petition. The document will explain that your spouse is requesting a divorce. It will likely include statements and requests about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, spousal maintenance, property division, and other divorce-related issues. Once you understand what your spouse is asking for, you can respond appropriately.

Retain an Experienced Attorney

An attorney is not required to get divorced in Illinois. However, your attorney can help you interpret the petition and understand what your spouse is requesting. Your attorney can also provide legal support throughout the duration of your divorce case. Hiring an attorney does not mean that you intend to take your case to trial or make the situation any more contentious than it already is. It simply means that you now have a legal advocate on your side who can explain your legal rights and options and help you take the steps needed to resolve your divorce.

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DuPage County legal separation attorneyAs any married individual can attest to, it is not always easy to know when a marriage is truly over. You may be unhappy in your relationship, but you may still have a glimmer of hope that you and your spouse can resolve your differences. However, even if you are not yet ready to pursue a divorce, you will likely still need to address key issues related to your finances and your children. In situations like these, a legal separation may be the right choice. Read on to learn about the purpose of legal separation in Illinois as well as the differences between legal separation and divorce.

Understanding The Process of Getting Legally Separated in Illinois

There are many misunderstandings about what it means to be legally separated. A legal separation does not simply mean that you and your spouse are living separately; instead, it is an official legal status. During a legal separation, you and your spouse can establish arrangements about the same issues that you would need to address during a divorce. You may then submit your agreements to the court, and these agreements will become legally-binding court orders. During a legal separation, you can formally address:

Wheaton, IL family law attorney DIY divorce disadvantagesIn today’s modern world, we can pay our bills, conduct work meetings, do our taxes, and complete other important tasks all from our home computer or smartphone. If you are thinking about divorce, you may be interested in your options for an “online divorce” or “do-it-yourself divorce.” These options often seem attractive because they have low up-front costs and appear simpler than a traditional divorce. However, many people find that DIY divorces end up being disastrous.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Do-it-Yourself Divorce

A quick search of the term “online divorce” results in thousands of results for allegedly quick and easy ways to end your marriage online. Unfortunately, divorce is rarely a quick and easy process. There are certainly some things you can do to make the divorce process easier, but no divorce is completely painless. The main advantage of DIY divorce or online divorce services is that they often have a low starting fee. However, many people find that the financial harm resulting from a hasty divorce greatly outweighs these savings. When you use an online or DIY divorce service, you miss out on the personalized legal guidance you gain from working with an attorney. You may make mistakes or oversights that result in avoidable stress, financial losses, and legal headaches.  

The Benefits of Working With an Experienced Divorce Attorney

Working with an attorney during divorce has many benefits. Your attorney will get to know you and your unique situation. He or she can develop a personalized divorce plan that takes into account your individual needs and goals. Your attorney’s job is to advocate on your behalf during your divorce and represent your best interests. Working with an attorney also decreases the likelihood of mistakes that can complicate or slow down the divorce process. Your attorney can help you with concerns related to the division of marital property and debt, parenting time and parental responsibilities, spousal maintenance, possession of the marital home, and many other issues. For many, the greatest benefit of working with an attorney during divorce is simply the peace of mind they gain.   

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