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How Does the Legal Process Work?

Once you have decided to pursue a divorce, there are many legal steps to take. First and foremost, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced attorney in your area. Once you find the right lawyer for you, your petition for divorce will be filed in court. This petition will ask the court to grant your divorce, and to settle related issues such as determining alimony, dividing property, and setting child support if necessary. There are certain requirements to file for divorce in Illinois. For example, one or both spouses must be a state resident for at least 90 days prior to filing for divorce. Depending on the grounds of divorce in your case, other requirements may apply. Once the case has begun, court dates will be set, and your lawyer will explain your choices based on your specific circumstances.

 

How Is Property Divided?

Under Illinois law, marital property is divided under the “equitable distribution” standard. Basically, this means that both spouses will receive a fair share of the marital property based on their individual contributions to the marriage. These contributions may be monetary, like paying for home repairs, or non-monetary, like domestic services.

Generally, marital property is all property acquired during the marriage, even if the property is titled in one spouse’s name. A common exception to this rule includes gifts made to one spouse and inheritances, which are usually designated as non-marital property. Such property would remain separate, and belong exclusively to one spouse.

 

Will the Case Go to Trial?

Whether or not your case goes to trial depends on the circumstances involved. Many divorce cases in the Wheaton area are settled through a process called mediation. During mediation, both parties and their lawyers work with a neutral, third-party mediator to resolve contested issues. There are two major benefits to mediation: reduction of litigation costs and expedited speedier. However, mediation is not always beneficial or appropriate. Thus, it is important to find an attorney who can take your case through trial if necessary.

 

Can I Date During Divorce?

Dating during divorce is a tricky subject. While the law does not prohibit doing so, many attorneys advise against it. A divorce is, by nature, a contentious process. Most divorces are contested, so they are inherently adversarial. Beginning a new relationship while divorcing may add to that emotional turmoil. In some cases, it may be wise to avoid taking steps that would increase tension between you and your spouse. If your case goes to mediation, your spouse’s cooperation is essential to a beneficial resolution. Doing what you can to decrease conflict during the divorce may help in this process. Another reason to avoid dating during divorce is the effect it may have on your children. Often, children are confused and stressed during divorce, and your new relationship may add to that stress. Consult with your lawyer before beginning any new relationship while your divorce case is pending.

 

Call Wheaton Divorce Firm

At Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., our Wheaton divorce lawyers know that you may have many questions. We are here to answer those questions, address your concerns, and help you move forward. For over 35 years, our lawyers have helped clients through divorce in Wheaton, Naperville, Aurora, and throughout Illinois. For professional, personalized legal help, contact our firm today at (630) 961-0060.

 

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