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Divorce Basics in Illinois

 Posted on April 10, 2015 in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, dissolution of marriageBefore you can file for divorce in Illinois, there are some basic things you need to check or think about. How long have you lived in Illinois? What are your reasons for getting a divorce? How will you divide your assets and debt? If you have children, what is the best interest for them? Do you want to go to court or would mediation be better for you? There are many questions you need to ask yourself before and during the divorce process. It does not have to be confusing though. Here are some divorce basics you will need to know.

What is Dissolution of Marriage?

In Illinois, a dissolution of marriage is a divorce. Divorce proceedings are outlined in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and lawyers and courts are required to follow this act during divorce proceedings.

Am I able to file for divorce in Illinois?

To file for divorce in Illinois, one of the parties has to be a legal resident of Illinois for at least three months. If one party is a member of the military, and their residence has been maintained for at least 90 days in Illinois, they may also file for divorce in Illinois.

What are your "grounds" for divorce?

"Grounds" are the reason you are giving for getting divorced. When you file your petition for a divorce, you will need to state a specific ground from Part IV: Dissolution and Legal Separation of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. If you are the one petitioning for the divorce and are stating a specific ground, the burden of proof will be on you to support the ground you are stating on your petition. If you are stating irreconcilable differences, you do not have to prove anything.

Do I need to be separated to file for divorce?

If your petition for divorce states irreconcilable differences, you and your spouse are required to live apart for at least two years before stating that ground on your petition. You do not have to have a legal separation. If your spouse willfully abandoned you and your family, that action also counts as being separated. If you do not want to wait for the two year period, you may file for a waiver if both parties agree to the divorce.

What will happen to the children?

Even if you have a prenuptial agreement that states one party or the other will receive custody or one party will or will not pay child support, it is not valid. If you have children, the judge will decide what is the best interest of the children. This includes which party will have custody, if it will be joint or sole custody, who the child will live with, visitation rights and frequency, and child support payments. Divorce is stressful on the adults and children alike. Make sure to explain what is going on to your children and reassure them that they are not the reason for the divorce.

Making the decision to file for a dissolution of marriage can be a difficult decision to make. The process does not have to be confusing though. Contact a Wheaton County divorce attorney about the best divorce options for you. The lawyers at Stock, Carlson, Flynn and McGarth, LLC can help you understand the divorce process. Contact the law offices of Stock, Carlson, Flynn and McGrath, LLC at 630-665-2500 to speak to an attorney.

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