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How To: A Step-By-Step Guide to Getting a Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

IL family lawyerGetting a divorce is not as easy as it looks in the movies. Filing for divorce is much more than just deciding you and your spouse no longer want to be together. There is an involved legal process that takes much longer than most people think. If you are considering filing for divorce, know the various steps that need to be taken in order to understand the road ahead.

  • File a Petition: Under Illinois state law, no waiting period is necessary to file a petition for divorce as long as one spouse legally resides in Illinois. Though this is the rule for petitioning, granting a divorce has other requirements. In order for the divorce to be granted, one spouse has to have legally resided in Illinois for over 90 days prior to the judgment.
  • Grounds for Divorce: Having grounds for divorce does not necessarily mean abuse or neglect. In Illinois, irreconcilable differences is one of the most common grounds for divorce. In layman's terms, irreconcilable differences means no faults were made, both parties simply no longer want to be married. This can be proven by showing that both spouses have lived apart for the last six months.
  • Trial or Agreement: There are a variety of agreements that must be made before a divorce can be finalized. This includes division of property, division of debts, spousal maintenance, and child custody decisions. Although many couples can do this through mediation or agreement, others must do this with the help of a judge.
  • Marital Property Division: The property of each spouse is not decided based on who brought in the most income, but rather is tried to be split evenly. This includes real estate, furniture, cars, savings accounts, stock portfolios, retirement savings and other assets made throughout the marriage.
  • Custody Decisions: This process involves much more than just choosing who lives with whom. Custody decisions are made regarding all parental responsibilities such as the child’s education, health, and religion. Most parents are required to create a “parenting plan” before the divorce can be finalized.
  • Child Support and Spousal Maintenance: Most child support decisions are based on which household the child will reside in primarily. The obligation to pay child support is usually given to the parent that does not house the child majority of the time. Spousal maintenance is not always a requirement in a divorce. This is situational based on the couple’s finances.

Seek Legal Help

Divorce is a trying time for everyone involved. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney is crucial in making the transition as easy and painless as possible. Our Dupage County divorce lawyers work to tailor your divorce contract to benefit both parties in the ending of their marriage. If you are filing for divorce and need help with the proceedings, call the law office of Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. at 630-472-9700 for your free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/publications/pamphlets/Divorce.pdf

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