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Illinois property division lawyersDuring the divorce process, each party must make a number of difficult decisions. Some of the decisions are fairly simple and straightforward (i.e. who gets the pots and pans). Others, like deciding where one will live during and after the proceedings, can be far more challenging and are rarely considered in advance. To make matters worse, there are often practical, emotional, and financial implications involved. Learn what considerations can help to ease the decision-making process, and discover what an experienced divorce lawyer can do to improve the final outcome of your case. 

Examining Your Options

When it comes to living options during and after a divorce, most people have only three: continue living in their current home, purchase a new home, or rent a new home or apartment. Some divorcing parties may also have the option to stay with family or friends (at least for a while), but such arrangements are usually temporary. For this reason, even parties with a fall-back plan are encouraged to consider their long-term living options. 

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneys, divorce in IllinoisChanges have finally come to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5)—changes that The Illinois General Assembly passed last July and went into effect January 1, 2016. The new bill, SB 57, significantly modifies the areas of child custody and divorce.

Grounds Are No Longer Required for Divorce

Traditionally, Illinois was a “no-fault” state. However, divorces could also be granted on specific grounds. Under SB 57, a spouse seeking divorce no longer needs to state grounds for the divorce in his or her divorce petition.

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Illinois family law relating to marriage, divorce, child custody, alimony, and other related matters, is governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The Act, which was passed in 1977, is now slated for a big restructuring. For the first time in 40 years, Illinois lawmakers are considering sweeping changes to the patchwork of laws that govern close family relationships. Changes could impact many people who are currently involved in the process of divorce, or who are thinking about beginning the process.

The Illinois legislature has asked an advisory group, the Illinois Family Law Study Committee, to make recommendations for updating the marriage law. They have been collecting information and perspectives of judges, lawyers, and families impacted by the law for several years, and have crafted a set of changes. The changes are intended to reflect more modern cultural values and norms relating to divorce and custody of children. Although the advisory committee agrees that even if the changes were implemented, the law would still not be perfect, they believe that these changes would vastly improve the law as it stands today.

The changes have been set out in Illinois Senate Bill 57, which failed to reach a vote last year. However, the bill was given new life and in February, it passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee, which serves as a forum for social issues before sending them to be considered by the entire Senate.

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alcohol abuseNo-fault divorces have become increasingly common in Illinois. Still, the traditional grounds for divorce are still available for use. One of the grounds still used in Illinois is one party having a drug addiction or drinking addiction for at least two years. Whether that particular ground is used to file for the dissolution or not, alcohol often plays a major role in divorces in the United States.

The Statistics

Studies show that marriages are more likely to end when one spouse has a serious problem with alcohol. One particular study conducted by the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions noted that where one spouse in a marriage (and only one spouse) drank heavily (until intoxicated or having six or more drinks), the marriage was likely to end in divorce 50 percent of the time.

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce mythsSome divorce cases, such as those of the very wealthy or those of the celebrity variety, are much more common to be made into news stories and discussed in the media than divorces between regular folks. Interestingly enough, it is often the case that no matter who the parties to the divorce case are, some of the same issues are present in divorce cases across the board, albeit on a different scale. A recent article discussed the high profile divorce case of a super wealthy Chicago couple, busting some divorce case myths along the way. Although the article is written in the context of this specific couple’s divorce case, these myths are present in many divorces, regardless of the splitting couple’s financial status.

Myths Busted

Whether speaking about billionaires or the average middle class couple, divorce cases are often an emotional, stressful time for both parties and their families. Issues arise that may make one party think he or she has an advantage over the other, but in reality, one can never be sure how a divorce case will play out in court. In that same vein, many have preconceived notions of divorce cases and their likely outcome. Consider the following myths and the corresponding realities:

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce petitionMarried couples often know their relationship is ending before any formal steps are taken to obtain a divorce. Some may suspect their spouse is about to file for divorce, while others may be taken off guard when served with divorce papers. No matter the path taken, anyone who is served with a petition for divorce has important legal rights that need protection, as well as a responsibility to participate in the divorce process.

First Things First

It is highly advisable that anyone who is served with a petition for divorce contact an experienced family law attorney to represent them. Not only can a divorce case quickly become complicated and confusing for those not familiar with the process and the laws regarding divorce in Illinois, but hiring a capable attorney ensures a party’s rights will be protected and they will have the benefit of professional representation throughout their case.

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division of property IMAGEIf you are going through a divorce, there is more to consider than the physical separation from your spouse. Especially if you have been married a long time, the division of property can be the most complicated and difficult step of the proceeding. According to the Illinois General Assembly and the state’s Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, Illinois is an equitable distribution state. This means that all property acquired during the marriage will be considered for equitable distribution, regardless of whose name is on the deed. The only possessions that will not be considered for 50/50 distribution upon divorce are those that are categorized as separate property. According to the Huffington Post, separate property generally includes (but is not limited to):

  • Property owned by either spouse before the marriage;
  • Inheritance received (either before or after the marriage);
  • A gift received by the husband or wife from a third party;
  • Payment from a personal injury claim.

But it is important to remember, according to the Huffington Post that, “separation property can lose its separate property status if you commingle it with marital property or vice versa.” It can become even more complicated when divorcing couples take into consideration the tax implications of assets, however—something many couples take for granted, according to the Chicago Tribune. One financial planner who assists divorcing couples told the Tribune that, “the biggest assets most families have are the house and retirement plan. But the house can be sold without paying tax, while the retirement plan cannot.” This is just one reason why it is crucial to seek the counsel of a legal professional when going through a divorce. If you or someone you know is looking for a divorce attorney in the Chicago area, contact the Davi Law Group today.

Divorce Attorney IMAGEWhen going through a divorce, one of the most important things you can do to ensure that the process goes smoothly is to hire the right divorce attorney. At the Davi Law Group, we provide personalized attention to all our clients so that they can begin to move on with their lives. When going through a divorce there are several things to keep in mind in order to stay on top of the proceeding—choosing the right divorce attorney is paramount. “It is difficult to know where to turn when you are faced with divorce,” the Huffington Post reports. There are several things to keep in mind when initiating proceedings, according to the Huffington Post, that will help your divorce go as smoothly as possible. The first is to be realistic. An attorney from the Davi Law Group will help you to dissolve your assets, resolve custody and visitation issues, and determine maintenance / alimony agreements. A divorce attorney is not a therapist or marriage counselor, however. “You need to realize that divorce is a legal process… while you might want [your divorce attorney] to listen to your anger, frustration, pain and sadness, that is not their job,” reports the Huffington Post. At the Davi Law Group we handle your case with sincerity and tact, but we also do our best to keep your costs low by avoiding tasks for which we are not trained. We always work in the vein of what is best for you. Another thing a person can do during a divorce to make it as smooth as possible, according to the Huffington Post, is to stay focused on the goal and to know what you want. An attorney from the Davi Law Group can help you determine how best to proceed, but only you can know your personal goals and desires. If you have determined your desired outcome, an attorney from the Davi Law Group can help to make it happen. If you or someone you know is looking for a divorce attorney in Naperville, contact the Davi Law Group today.

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