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wheaton divorce lawyerDivorce is commonplace in 2021, and many couples may be tempted to handle the filing, negotiating, and property settlement for themselves. When a couple is separating amicably, it may seem that the divorce process is fairly straightforward and they believe they will be able to come to a mutual resolution without help from a divorce attorney. Couples may also believe they can save themselves significant time and expense by handling the divorce themselves. 

Regardless of how legitimate the reasons for wanting to avoid hiring a lawyer may be, the truth is that handling the divorce process yourself can actually end up costing you more time and money. Divorce law is complex, and it is easy to make mistakes that are very costly in the short and long term. Clerks and judges are not permitted to give you legal advice. If you decide not to hire an attorney, you are truly on your own. 

Why Hire a Professional Divorce Attorney? 

  • Avoid Financial Mistakes – Divorce, no matter how simple it may seem, causes substantial changes to your overall financial picture. Shared bank accounts, credit cards, and major debt like car loans and mortgages will all play a role in your divorce. Likewise, retirement accounts or Social Security benefits can complicate a couple’s financial picture. You do not want to be surprised with unexpected loss from investment accounts or find yourself shelling out big bucks to avoid selling your home. A good divorce attorney will help you avoid common financial pitfalls while simultaneously helping you make financial decisions that will benefit you in the long run. 

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dupage county divorce lawyer Divorce is never easy, but it is made even more difficult when one spouse cannot or will not work. Studies show that divorce is substantially more likely among heterosexual couples when the husband is not employed. The working spouse may feel frustrated by months or years of supporting the household but may also feel guilty for potentially cutting off the non-working spouse’s source of income. 

Divorcing an unemployed spouse does not have to be a nightmare. Along with hiring an experienced divorce attorney, here are three things to consider when divorcing an unemployed spouse. 

Alimony

Alimony, or spousal support, is given to the lesser-earning former spouse to make sure they are able to maintain the kind of lifestyle they had during the marriage. The factors the court takes into consideration during the alimony ruling will include why the non-working spouse did not work. Spouses may also reach an agreement about alimony, called spousal maintenance in Illinois law, through mediation, collaborative law, or lawyer-assisted negotiations. 

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wheaton divorce lawyerAlthough divorce is common, it is one of the most difficult life events an individual or family can face. Making the decision to begin divorce proceedings should never be done lightly, and it is normal to feel some uncertainty about moving forward. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prepare yourself and make the process as painless as possible. 

Prioritize Peace

Extensive research shows the traumatic effects of divorce on both children and adults, and most people agree that reducing conflict is imperative during divorce proceedings. Unfortunately, when spouses are in the middle of tense negotiations, it can be difficult to remember that – despite what it seems – divorce proceedings will not last forever.

However, your relationship with your children will far outlast the divorce. This means that your relationship with your future ex-spouse, whether you like it or not, is likely to be a part of your life for the foreseeable future as well. 

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dupage county divorce lawyerOnce you have made the decision to get a divorce, the last thing you want a divorce that drags on for months or even years. However, that is the reality for people whose divorce situations are unusual or complex. Some divorces will understandably take longer to complete than others, especially when certain issues are present. A lengthy divorce can take a toll on the couple, their children, and their wallets, but there are things that you can do to speed up the process and help keep your divorce on track.

The Grounds and Waiting Period for Divorce in Illinois 

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), a couple can only get divorced if, “irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage. Basically, you must show to the court that you and your spouse have differences you cannot settle and that it would not be in the best interests of the family for you and your spouse to continue to be married. If a spouse denies that there are irreconcilable differences, living separately and apart for six months creates an “irrebuttable presumption” of irreconcilable differences. There is no waiting period if you and your spouse both agree to get divorced.

Tips to Make Your Divorce Go By Faster

Even though the divorce may last at least a couple of months, there are things you can do to help the divorce stay on track:

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dupage county divorce lawyerWhen any couple gets divorced in Illinois, one of the many issues they will have to address is how property will be divided between the two of them. The property division process can be taxing for many couples, especially if they cannot agree on how the property should be distributed. In some cases, issues can arise when one spouse does not agree with the marital and nonmarital property designations assigned to certain assets. Many couples have expensive and valuable assets, such as the family home, vehicles, and perhaps even a business or professional practice. Determining a correct designation for those assets is crucial to getting a fair distribution of marital property. However, determining what is and is not marital property is not always as clear-cut as you would think.

Determining Commingled Property

In Illinois, only marital property is included in the division process. This means that any property or debts you and/or your spouse acquired during your marriage is fair game, with a few exceptions. Property is considered nonmarital property acquired during the marriage if it was:

  • A gift given to you only

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