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Wheaton divorce attorneysOne of the first questions that divorcing parties ask is how long the process will take. Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple one, especially since there are so many variables involved. For example, a contentious divorce is likely to take far longer than an amicable one. Still, there are some generalizations that can give you an idea as to how long the process might take for you and your spouse. Learn more in the following sections, including how a seasoned divorce attorney may be able to take steps to expedite your Illinois divorce. 

Method of Divorce Can Affect the Duration of Your Case

Couples used to have to go through court for a divorce, but the process is both long and costly. As such, the system has added new avenues for divorce. For example, a couple may choose to mediate their divorce instead of going to litigation. Alternatively, they may use their attorneys to work out a negotiated settlement, or they may seek out arbitration. All of these avenues typically take less time than a litigated divorce, and they are usually less expensive. 

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property division illinois divorceDuring a divorce proceeding, the parties may attempt to come to an agreement about the way in which they will divide their marital property between them. However, if they are unable to come to an agreement, or if their agreement is found to be unfair and unconscionable, it is up to the Illinois Courts to divide the marital estate between the divorcing parties in a way it sees fit. The court employs the law as a guideline in making a property determination within a divorce decree.

Equitable Distribution

Illinois state law follows the concept of equitable distribution in dividing marital property. This allows the court to make a property determination based on fairness and may not involve a perfect 50/50 split of marital property awarded to each party. The court will separate what is classified as marital property from what is considered separate property, and will equitably divide the marital property between divorcing spouses.

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce, divorce basics, uncontested divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, DuPage County divorce attorneyMany people are probably familiar with divorce terms like “no-fault” and “uncontested,” but may not be sure how these legal phrases interrelate and what they mean for practical purposes. Read on for an overview of Illinois divorce law, and a breakdown of these and other familiar terms.

Grounds or No Grounds?

Initially, when making the decision to divorce and end a marriage, the reason for the divorce must be included in the legal pleadings. Spouses either have grounds for the divorce, or they may wish to divorce based irreconcilable differences (no grounds). Grounds are considered reasons for the divorce, while irreconcilable differences indicate the couple cannot point to any accepted grounds, or reasons, for divorce.

Grounds for divorce include:

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cohabitation, divorce, marriage, Illinois divorce attorney, family law in DuPage CountyIn the past, conservative views about what constituted appropriate action on behalf of a couple prior to getting married dominated public opinion. Everything from living together to premarital sex was frowned upon. While some people may still hold these views to some extent, there has definitely been a shift in what couples are doing before getting married these days, and a new study says it’s not nearly as bad as many previously thought.

Cohabitation Before Marriage

A recently published article discussed not only the prevalence of cohabitation before marriage, but whether it has any real effect on the success of the marriage once it occurs. Over the last five decades, it is estimated that the rate of couples who live together before getting married has increased by about 900 percent. Two-thirds of marriages that occur today are between couples who have already lived together for 31 months, on average. Previous studies indicated that couples who lived together before marriage were 33 percent more likely to divorce than their counterparts who waited to live together until after the marriage ceremony took place.

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children of divorce, child of divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyIn Part 1 of this article, we discussed research that showed children, on average, are likely to bounce back in the long term after their parents’ divorce, as well as some factors that may inhibit this adjustment. This seems to suggest that perhaps parents may not need to worry as much about the effects their divorce may have on their children, as long as they are able to maintain some stability and appropriate parenting levels throughout the process. Read on for the rest of the research related to this topic, regarding concerns relating to adulthood and improving the chances that children will bounce back.

Later Problems

The concern with children of divorced parents is not limited to immediate problems, but also with problems that the child may experience later in life as an adult. Some previous research suggests that children of divorce experience significant problems with depression and relationship issues as adults. However, other researchers argue against this finding, saying scientific research supports the idea that most children of divorce grow into well-adjusted adults.

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infidelityIt often seems as though it is only a matter of time before we hear of a new political scandal in the media regarding infidelity or other transgressions by our elected officials. Oftentimes, their actions have consequences, not only in the form of public opinion affecting their professional lives, but also in their personal lives as well. The latest such incident involves a married Republican congressman from Louisiana, Representative Vance McAllister.

McAllister’s Transgression

McAllister was captured on video participating in less than savory behavior. In the dark, with his shirt untucked, he is seen approaching a woman and then embracing her with a kiss. It was revealed that the woman in the recording was an aide who worked with the congressman, and was also married.

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DuPage County divorce attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer, divorce lawyer, attorneyIf you are considering divorce, you may have several concerns regarding the process, including the prospect of hiring a divorce attorney. Some may be tempted to attempt the process without representation. However, doing so may prove to have several drawbacks and will likely affect the outcome of your case.

Drawbacks and Dangers

Divorce usually involves a large amount of legal documents and complicated paperwork that needs to be read and sorted through. The task can not only be an unpleasant one, but also one that not everyone is qualified to handle. At the outset, a divorce case may seem straightforward, but things can very easily take a wrong turn and become much more involved, leaving the unrepresented in way over their heads. Those parties who choose not to hire an attorney can also cause the whole process of divorce to move much slower than it otherwise would, frustrating the judge and other parties involved.

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conscious uncoupling, divorce of the future, divorce, family law, illinois divorce attorney, parentingGwyneth Paltrow has been making headlines lately, and the stories do not necessarily cast the movie star in a positive light. She’s been known to make out-of-touch comments in the past, and recent events have been no exception. One remark alluded to the fact that “regular” moms who work 9-to-5 jobs have a more manageable schedule than film stars, who often have to work 14-hour days for a few weeks in a row. The backlash from women across the country was palpable immediately following the interview. The other communication that earned Paltrow notoriety in the press was her announcement recently that she and her husband have decided to part ways by what she described as a “conscious uncoupling.”

Changing the Concept of Divorce

In the announcement, Paltrow made her intentions clear to remain separate from her husband and move on from their marriage, although she refrained from using the word “divorce.” It is not that Paltrow does not intend to go through the legal proceeding, but the information she published along with her announcement indicates that modern times call for a new view of divorce. It suggests that the idea of a lifetime partner is not realistic in modern times for many reasons, among them being our increased life expectancy, idealizing our partner to our own detriment in the early stages of marriage, and our lack of flexibility when adapting to changes in relationships.

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newly divorced, lawyer, attorney, dating, life after divorce, Illinois DuPage CountyDivorce brings major life changes along with it. Many times, those involved in a divorce must move to a new home, change their lifestyle, and even change jobs. In picking up the pieces and starting over, some may find comfort in forming new relationships. When entering into a new romantic relationship in this situation, many questions arise. You may be tempted to jump back into the dating pool, but beware. Whether you are going through a divorce or are just newly divorced, a recent article suggests that having a member of the opposite sex spend the night is a huge mistake.

 Where Children are Involved Especially in cases where a divorcing or newly divorced spouse has children to consider, having overnight guests is generally frowned upon. Children of divorced parents are likely already dealing with a host of complex issues, and handling a variety of mom or dad’s dates does not need to be one of them. If a divorcing or divorced parent want to pursue a romantic relationship, they should probably do so outside the presence of the children, no matter how old they are. Even if children are older, the example being set by parents engaging in a sexual relationship outside of marriage is not necessarily a good one.  Legal Implications For those parents entertaining overnight guests around their children while in the middle of a custody case, doing so may have serious legal implications in court. The situation may bring up the issue of cohabitation, which is especially relevant in determining child support or alimony payments, particularly if the situation is provided for in the divorce decree. This could result in one parent being financially penalized for having their romantic partner staying in their home. Entertaining multiple overnight guests may have further custodial issues regarding legal or physical custody of the children. The opposing party may try to argue that having overnight guests is evidence of poor judgment and is harming the child. Issues like this that arise between parents may lead a judge to believe that they would be unable to make joint decisions regarding the children, causing one parent to have primary custody when it otherwise could have been joint. Even if the romantic relationship involves just one partner, they may become a part of your custody case as a factor to be evaluated in the court making a custody determination. If one parent is in a relationship with someone who will be around the children consistently, they will need to be evaluated and considered in the judge’s decision.  Even if Children are Not Involved In cases of divorce where the couple does not have children, refraining from having overnight guests is usually a smart move. Specifically in cases involving control or abuse, participating in a romantic relationship while divorce proceedings are still pending or just recently ended may spark jealousy in the ex-spouse and cause a violent reaction. Further, if one spouse is still living in the marital home, the other may still have access to the residence or view it as theirs as well. If the displaced spouse discovers their ex in the marital home, it may lead to an explosive situation or to more controlling behavior down the road, even if those issues did not exist previously.  Divorce Attorney If you or someone you know is considering divorce, it is a good idea to speak to an experienced divorce attorney in the Chicago area about your options. Contact the knowledgeable lawyers at Davi Law Group, LLC today for a consultation.

Posted on in Divorce

healthy marriage, happiness, wedding, funding, Illinois marriage, Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family lawyerThe federal government has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into programs that are designed to promote healthy marriages, but a new study has found this spending hasn’t impacted marriage or divorce trends the way they were intended.

By the end of the fiscal year, the government will have invested $800 in the Healthy Marriage Initiative to fund multiple programs to improve relationships.

Between 2000 and 2010, marriage rates continued to decline, especially in locations where a lot of Healthy Marriage Initiative funds were used. The study, conducted by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, reviewed more than $600 million federal dollars spent between the same period.

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spousal support, alimony, spousal maintenance, divorceSpousal maintenance, also referred to as spousal support or alimony, refers to the transfer of money or assets from one spouse to another after a divorce. Spousal support exists in order to prevent a divorced spouse from suffering from a decrease in his or her standard of living due to a divorce.

It is not uncommon in marriages for one spouse to be employed and the other to be untrained or out of the workforce. After a divorce, it is very difficult for those who were not employed outside of the home during the marriage to obtain jobs that allow them to keep up with the standard of living they were used to while married.

 Depending on the circumstances, a couple may choose one of three different types of spousal maintenance. The first type of spousal support is called rehabilitative maintenance. This type of support generally has a set time frame and ends when the receiving spouse is back up on his or her feet. During the set time period, the receiving spouse has a chance to adjust, return to to the job market, and establish their own financial independence. Next, we have permanent maintenance. This type of agreement, hence the name, is permanent and will only end in the event of the death of one of the previous spouses or after a certain condition arises, such as remarriage. Permanent maintenance is sometimes awarded after an exceptionally lengthy marriage or if something is stopping the receiving spouse from entering the workforce, such as a physical disability. Although maintenance is permanent, payments are not set at one sum forever and may be negotiated upward or downward over the years based on changing circumstances. The third and final form of spousal maintenance is called temporary maintenance. Traditionally, this type of support is awarded to a spouse while the divorce is pending, as a divorce can sometimes take up to a year or more to be finalized.  Maintenance will end when the divorce becomes final. Spousal maintenance is not for all divorcing couples, but it is helpful to be familiar with the different options that exist. If you and your soon-to-be-ex are considering setting up a spousal support agreement, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney to assist you.

DuPage County family law attorneyAfter many years of continuous deployments for military members, the Department of Defense is seeing the impact of military life on the family at home. A study, conducted by the Rand Corporation, followed the marital status of 500,000 soldiers over a nine year period to explore the likelihood of divorce within the military. Military divorce can be extremely complex, particularly when the spouse is going through periods of deployment and not on U.S. soil. If you’re contemplating getting a divorce, hiring a lawyer is critical for receiving accurate legal guidance for your situation. The study found that couples in the military are 28% more likely to get a divorce if one or both spouses is deployed for one year or more. One of the study authors noted that this could be because the length of time these couples spend apart highlights weaknesses in the relationship and causes communication problems for the couple. The stressful conditions associated with deployment (for all family members) only serves to increase tension. Military divorce can take longer if one or both spouses is on active duty in a remote area or is permanently stationed overseas. Some states have relaxed residency requirements that were making it challenging for servicemen and women to file for divorce. It’s critical for anyone considering a military divorce to do some reading about the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, since this federal statute lays down guidelines for child support, military retirement pay/pension access, and spousal support for military families. The Defense Department may undertake future studies to further explore the impact of deployments on the lives of service members and their families. Deployments and military life can be challenging for any family. If you have been considering learning more about divorce, you should proceed by scheduling an appointment with a qualified Naperville family law attorney.
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