Divorce isn't quite as easy as many people think. For many people, divorce is their first experience with courts and the legal system. For other people, negotiation efforts, including asset division, child custody, alimony, and other issues can be settled without the need for a trip to court. However, the laws on divorce differ by state, so it is best to consult an expert. For instance, if you are contemplating a divorce in the state of Illinois, obtaining legal representation by a qualified Chicago divorce attorney can ensure a smooth and fair divorce settlement. The following overview provides crucial information about the legal grounds for divorce, child custody issues, alimony, and the division of assets.
The Legal Grounds for Divorce
The Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage can contain one of two terms, "fault" or "no fault." Every state has different laws about the classifications of these two terms. If a married couple has lived apart for more than two years, with irreconcilable differences destroying the marriage, the divorce is classified as "no fault." Alternatively, a married couple breaking up due to adultery, impotence, more than two years or alcohol or drug abuse, or other negative reasons, is usually classified as a "fault" divorce.
Dividing Shared Assets
Assets, or property, jointly owned by both the husband and wife must be divided during the divorce process. Many circumstances determine whether an asset acquired before the divorce decree is eligible as a shared asset to be divided. For instance, the divorce law in Illinois lists several conditions that distinguish assets as either "marital" or "non-marital." These conditions include agreed exclusions, inheritances, and income from "non-marital" assets. A divorce lawyer in Chicago can give legal guidance so that all property divisions are both legal and agreed upon.
One of the most difficult aspects of a divorce is negotiating and making child custody agreements. In most divorces, both spouses want more custody than the other wants to agree to. Judges usually consider many issues before making a child custody decision in court. While judges do listen to the wishes of the child, the physical, mental, and emotional growth of the child usually take priority. The ability and willingness of each parent to continue a healthy relationship with their child is a major consideration in custody hearings.
Spousal support, or alimony, issues also differ by state. In the state of Illinois, the amount of spousal support is figured by several factors that include the earning ability and monetary needs of both spouses. A major issue for determining alimony is whether the years of a spouse's devotion to staying home and taking care of both the home and family damaged that spouse's ability to obtain a job making a satisfactory living wage in the future. A qualified Chicago divorce attorney is beneficial in establishing and presenting a spousal support claim.
Consulting A Chicago Divorce Attorney
Divorce is an involved and complicated procedure. Even divorces that start out friendly and straightforward can turn into emotional messes, especially in a marriage with children and child custody issues. Couples contemplating a divorce should always contact an experienced lawyer in the state where they live. If you reside in Illinois, consulting a Chicago divorce attorney is vital in protecting your custody rights, receiving a fair share of marital assets, and in making sure your future is safe in the case of need for permanent or temporary alimony.
People seeking divorce are often fooled into thinking their spouse will be fair and objective when it comes to custody, division of assets, and spousal support. Ultimately, emotions usually take over, making the process nerve-wracking. A divorce lawyer in Chicago can negotiate for you without letting emotions cloud the process, ensuring a fair and smooth divorce.
Christine O'Kelly is a writer for VojtaLaw.com, a Chicago divorce attorney specializing in divorces, separations, adoptions, paternity, child custody and spousal support. Vojta Law is always willing to assist with those needing a divorce lawyer in Chicago.