Divorce is a significant life event that combines both a new beginning and a painful ending, and you should expect to experience a range of emotions throughout. Most importantly, however, divorce represents the dissolution of a marriage contract that will affect your financial and parental rights, and it is important to allow the process the careful attention it deserves. If you are facing a divorce, turn to experienced Schaumburg divorce lawyers for the professional legal counsel you need.
An important factor in every divorce is the division of marital assets, which generally include those things of value that you and your spouse acquired over the span of your marriage (with the exception of gifts or inheritances to one spouse). An asset can be considered marital property regardless of who made the purchase and of whose name is on the title. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act dictates that marital property should be divided equitably (fairly) in the event of divorce. This does not always mean a 50/50 division between the parties. There are many factors that the court will look at when deciding what a fair division of the marital assets will look like, and an experienced divorce attorney will be able to discuss those factors with you.
Those assets that either of you brings into the marriage with you and keep separate may be treated as “non-marital” and may remain your separate property in the event of a divorce. It is necessary to note, however, that during the course of your marriage, non-marital property often gets commingled and combined with marital property – blurring the dividing line between the two. Lawyers who regularly handle complex divorce cases will be able to analyze your finances and sort out what assets will likely be treated as non-marital, separate property.
The other financial component of divorce is alimony, which is sometimes referred to as spousal support, and in Illinois is called maintenance. If one spouse has been historically reliant on the other spouse to meet his or her financial needs during the marriage, whether because of a large disparity in income, or because one spouse was the stay-at-home parent during the bulk of the marriage, then maintenance may be topic to discuss with your attorney. Ultimately, the court will have to determine:
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act spells out guidelines for the courts to follow when making those determinations, but there are a number of factors and circumstances which will cause a judge to deviate from those guidelines.
Illinois law refers to child custody arrangements as Judgments for Allocation of Parental Responsibility and Parenting Time, but the effects correlate with what other states often describe as legal and physical custody – and both can be either joint or sole. Parental responsibilities relate to the major decisions that parents make in their children’s lives, including those that relate to:
Parenting time guides the schedule by which you and your co-parent will split your time with your children. If you are able to negotiate a schedule that both of you agree to, it can take whatever form you like as long as the court ultimately finds that it is in the best interest of your children. If you are unable to reach an agreement, the court may appoint a mediator to facilitate an agreement or a guardian ad litem (attorney for the child) who can make custody and visitation recommendations to the court.
If you are facing divorce or a divorce-related concern, the accomplished Schaumburg divorce lawyers at SLG Family Law are committed to skillfully advocating for terms that support your rights and allow you to move forward into your post-divorce life with renewed confidence. For more information about how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
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