Couples in the Metro East, IL area divorce for many reasons, and every divorcing couple will face unique challenges as they finalize their dissolutions. Even when divorcing spouses reach mutual decisions to divorce and are relatively amicable toward one another at the outset of their dissolution proceedings, any divorce is likely to raise very complex emotional challenges for both spouses.
If you suspect your marriage has broken down past any hope of reconciliation, or if either you or your spouse has voiced the desire to end your marriage, it’s vital to think carefully about whether this would truly be the best solution for your current problems.
Understanding the Divorce Filing Process in Illinois
Divorce is the final legal termination of a marriage contract, and every state enforces different laws and statutes for handling the dissolution process. While Illinois law does not require a divorcing spouse to cite a specific cause or reason for filing a divorce petition, everyone needs to know the most common causes of marital breakdowns and how the cause behind a divorce can influence the subsequent legal proceedings required to resolve it. Some of the most commonly cited causes for marriages to break down to the point of divorce include:
- Financial disputes. Married spouses may argue about how they should spend their money. It’s also possible for marital tensions to arise over one spouse’s mishandling of shared assets. Depending on the scope of such behavior, they could face various repercussions in their divorce proceedings when it comes to property division, spousal support, and other financial matters.
- Domestic violence. Unfortunately, domestic violence is a pervasive problem throughout the U.S., and many marriages break down due to one spouse engaging in domestic abuse of the other. If you have experienced any form of domestic violence in the Metro East, IL area, it is crucial to speak with an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible about how to best protect yourself and your family from any further harm.
- Infidelity. It is not technically illegal for a married person to engage in an extramarital affair, but it should be easy to see how such behavior can quickly collapse a marriage in Metro East. Should you and your spouse have a prenuptial agreement that includes legally enforceable terms regarding infidelity, this may have some bearing on your divorce proceedings.
When married couples experience these or other troubles in their marriage, marital counseling or a trial separation could provide them time to reflect and ultimately reconnect. Illinois is a no-fault state for divorce, so there is no requirement to prove a specific cause or fault to file your divorce petition in Metro East. You must simply prove that the marriage has broken down irreparably due to irreconcilable differences between you and your spouse.
How to Resolve Divorce in Illinois
The root cause of your divorce can influence how you and your spouse resolve your dissolution. Many couples in the Metro East, IL area are taking advantage of collaborative divorce and mediation to resolve their divorces more quickly and more efficiently. If you and your spouse are willing to negotiate, taking advantage of alternative dispute resolution is likely to yield significant savings of time, money, and stress for both of you. You will also be more likely to reach more mutually acceptable terms when you negotiate privately than you could expect a family court judge to deliver.
Some divorce-related issues cannot be resolved through private negotiation. For example, if you and your spouse have children together, the family court must ensure your custody agreement suits the child’s best interests. You may also have trouble resolving complex asset division if you and your spouse were a high net worth couple. Ultimately, any divorce is likely to pose unique challenges, and the underlying reason for your marriage’s breakdown will influence how your divorce proceedings unfold. For the best chance of reaching positive results, it’s important to secure legal counsel you can trust.
Q: Does It Matter Who Files the Divorce Petition?
A: There is a common misconception that being the one to file a divorce petition offers a legal advantage in divorce proceedings. This is untrue, and while it is possible to cite a specific serious reason for filing for divorce, such as domestic abuse, Illinois is a no-fault state, and it does not matter which spouse files the divorce petition. There is no legal advantage to being the first to file a divorce petition.
Q: Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Divorce Petition in Metro East?
A: There is no legal requirement to hire legal counsel to help you file your divorce petition. However, it is always best to consult an experienced attorney before you take any formal steps toward divorce in Metro East. Your attorney can help you make more informed decisions and streamline the process significantly, ultimately saving you time and money even after accounting for the cost of hiring them.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Metro East Divorce Attorney?
A: Most family lawyers bill their clients by the hour, so the more time they spend working on a case, the more it costs the client in legal fees. Make sure you understand all the details of a prospective attorney’s billing policy before signing a contract for their counsel. Some attorneys are willing to offer flat fee pricing for specific legal services, but these are generally narrow in scope, and you will likely require more expansive legal representation in a difficult divorce.
Q: Will I Need to Go to Court to Resolve My Divorce?
A: While some divorce cases can escalate into heated courtroom battles, the vast majority of divorces in Illinois settle privately through alternative dispute resolution. If you and your spouse cannot compromise in alternative dispute resolution and face many contentious issues in your divorce, you will likely need to settle the case in litigation.
Divorce can be an incredibly challenging experience for anyone. It’s vital to connect with a Metro East divorce attorney as soon as possible once you and/or your spouse have decided to divorce.