Thursday, February 24, 2011

Illinois Divorce Laws

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that you have to establish at-fault or no-fault reasons for the divorce and fulfill pre-defined separation periods for a divorce to be finalized.

If both parties agree to an uncontested divorce, the divorce can be finalized under Illinois law if the spouses have lived separately for as little as six months.

Couples who file for a no-fault divorce do not have to declare any wrongdoing for the marriage to be dissolved. They can cite irreconcilable differences as the grounds for divorce.

However, a contested divorce—one in which you and your spouse cannot agree on the terms—cannot be finalized until you have lived apart for at least two years.

In most cases, the length of separation is easy to establish. There are times, nevertheless, when divorcing spouses cannot afford to live in two separate households, but they still desire to function as separated individuals. Although same-household separation is more difficult to prove in a contested divorce, there are some indicators accepted by the courts:
• You must each live your own lives—doing your own cooking, cleaning, laundry, home maintenance, and so on.
• You must each maintain separate banking accounts.
• You must not share the same bed.

At-fault Chicago divorce

In the case of wrongdoing in your marriage, you may have specific grounds upon which to file for a divorce. If you are unsure of what you should be filing under, consult with a Chicago divorce lawyer. Illinois family law lists eight grounds for divorce:
• Adultery
• Desertion
• Impotency
• Conviction of a felony crime
• Infection with a sexually transmitted disease
• A preexisting marriage
• Habitual drunkenness or drug abuse for at least two years
• Physical or mental abuse, or attempted murder

Proceeding with a divorce in Chicago

In order to begin work, your Chicago divorce attorney will need personal and financial information from you, including:
• The addresses and phone numbers of both spouses
• Full names, birth dates, and addresses of children of the marriage, the name and address of their school, and their grades in school
• Copies of any legal proceedings or domestic contracts related to your case—prenuptial agreement, separation agreement, marriage counseling records, divorce decree from a former marriage, etc.
• Income tax returns from the most recent two years
• A month’s worth of current pay stubs
• List of major assets and liabilities of you and your spouse
• Copies of loans, account statements, stock certificates, and insurance policies
• Most recent statements of all credit card accounts

Common areas of dispute in a Chicago divorce

Mediation is a meeting facilitated by an impartial third party mediator. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and resolve the issues on which you and your spouse cannot agree. A Chicago divorce mediator listens to both sides and helps you communicate with each other in an effective way. The objective of mediation is to come up with mutually acceptable terms to complete your divorce.

Family and divorce law cases are among the most volatile in Chicago courtrooms. Common areas of disagreement include division of joint property, debt allocation, determination of spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation. If you and your spouse cannot agree, you may need to consider entering divorce mediation. Sphere: Related Content