Placeholder canvas

Finding Your Way Through the Divorce Process

Finding Your Way Through the Divorce Process

by LBRadmin
Aug 15, 2023
divorce process

Finding Your Way Through the Divorce Process

Divorce is a difficult and emotionally taxing process that can have a profound effect on everyone involved. It’s critical to have a thorough awareness of the legal processes and complexity involved if you’re thinking about or going through a divorce in Cook County or the collar counties in Illinois. This thorough guide will cover important subjects including divorcing (the divorce itself), dividing assets and debt, determining child custody (now known as Allocation of Parental Responsibilities) and support obligations, for both children and, if appropriate, the other spouse,  and more, giving you helpful advice to help you deal with these complex legal concerns. Here’s what you need to know.

The First Step in the Divorce Process: Filing for Divorce

The first step in filing for divorce in Illinois is filing a petition for dissolution of marriage. In Cook County and the collar counties, this involves submitting the necessary forms to the circuit court clerk’s office. It is advised that you speak with a knowledgeable family law attorney who can help you with the paperwork and make sure your rights and interests are safeguarded.

Asset and Debt Division

Since Illinois is an equitable distribution state, the division of marital assets and debts is fair but not always equal. The length of the marriage, the contributions made by each spouse to the assets acquired during the marriage, and the financial situation of each party are only a few of the variables the court takes into account. To paint a complete image of the marital estate, it is essential to compile all pertinent financial papers, including bank accounts, tax filings, and records of property ownership.  This includes completing a Financial Affidavit, a form that is required throughout the State of Illinois.  Your attorney can help you with this, but it is important that you try to complete the form as much as possible before discussing with your attorney.

Child Support

The Illinois Income Shares Model, which takes into account the income of both parents, the number of children, and other relevant factors is used to determine child support obligations. The court wants to make sure that the child’s needs are properly provided for in terms of money. To ensure that support obligations are calculated fairly, it is crucial to comprehend the child support rules and to give the court correct financial information.  Generally, your attorney will calculate the support amount using a computer program developed for this issue.  It is rare for a court to deviate from the computer generated support amount.

Child Custody  (Now Known As Allocation Of Parental Responsibilities)

Although the term custody is still frequently used, Illinois no longer uses that term officially to address how children’s issues are resolved in a divorce.  Rather, the law now refers to “Allocation Of Parental Responsibilities.”  The best interests of the child are the court’s top priority when it comes to custody disputes. The allocation of parental duties, including decision-making power and parenting time, is a principle that Illinois upholds. The bond between the child and each parent, the child’s physical and emotional health, and the child’s educational needs are all things that the court takes into account. A parenting plan that defines each parent’s rights and obligations can help make the custody decision-making process go more smoothly.  It is not always possible for parents to come to an agreement regarding their children and thus there are a number of additional steps for parents to follow if this happens, such as mediation, appointment of an attorney for the children (known as Guardian ad litem or Child Representative) and possibly an evaluation addressing best interest of the children.

Spousal Support

A spouse who is struggling financially may be granted spousal support, sometimes referred to as maintenance or alimony. Maintenance/alimony can also be awarded if there is a large discrepancy in the income of the parties. The court takes into account factors like the duration of the marriage, the income and earning potential of each spouse, and the level of life during the marriage. Depending on the situation, spousal support may be either temporary or permanent. You can better understand your spousal support rights and duties by speaking with a family law specialist.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Although court proceedings are frequently involved in divorce cases, other dispute resolution techniques, such as mediation or collaborative law, can be useful alternatives. These strategies promote cooperation and communication between divorce partners, resulting in a more amiable and effective outcome. Participating in alternative dispute resolution can lessen the financial burden and emotional toll that come with a regular court case.

Finding Expert Advice

It is essential to have the assistance of a skilled family law attorney who can offer specialized advice and counsel throughout the divorce process. An attorney will watch out for your rights, guide you through the legal system’s intricacies, and fight for what’s best for you.

Emotional Assistance

People and their families may experience emotional hardship as a result of divorce. Seeking out emotional support from dependable friends, family, or even a therapist is crucial. Having a strong support system around you can aid in stress management and better decision-making during this trying period.

Consult With an Experienced Family Law Attorney at Laurel Black Rector Today

It can be difficult to navigate the complications of filing for divorce in Cook County and the collar counties of Illinois. However, you can approach the processes with more assurance and clarity if you are aware of the crucial steps in the divorce process, such as filing for divorce, dividing assets and debts, determining child custody, and discussing support obligations. Contact us today to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney who can help you through the legal nuances and guarantee that your rights and interests are safeguarded. Even though divorce can be emotionally taxing, you can effectively manage this transition and set the stage for a better future with the correct help and services.

Skip to content