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Bolingbrook divorce attorney legal separation

When a couple is having problems with their marriage, sometimes the decision to divorce is clear-cut. However, many couples are not ready to take the irreversible action of ending the marriage, and instead, wish to spend time apart while they contemplate their next step. For these couples, or for those spouses who wish to avoid divorce because of cultural beliefs or health insurance benefits, a legal separation may be a good option. If you do choose to pursue it, you should understand exactly what legal separation entails and how it differs from a complete dissolution of the marriage according to Illinois law.

What Happens in an Illinois Legal Separation?

For you and your spouse to be considered legally separated, you must be living in separate locations, and one of you must file a Petition for Legal Separation with your county’s Circuit Court. If your separation is approved, you should consider the following legal implications:

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Bolingbrook divorce attorney spousal support

A cheating or unfaithful spouse can put a huge strain on a marriage, and in many cases, one from which the marriage cannot recover. If your spouse has been unfaithful to you, you may understandably be angry and upset, and if you have cheated on your spouse, you may feel shame and regret. Beyond these emotional struggles, you and your spouse will likely face the difficult decision as to whether you should divorce in the aftermath of infidelity. If you do decide to proceed with legally ending your marriage, you should be aware of how the unfaithfulness can factor into the outcome.

Understanding the Impact of Adultery on a Divorce

Infidelity will almost certainly have some effect on the way you and your spouse go about the divorce proceedings, but it may not always have as much of an impact as you might expect. Some things to keep in mind about infidelity when going through your divorce include:

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DuPage County divorce attorney mediation

The stereotypical depiction of divorce is often more fiction than fact. You have likely seen couples in movies screaming at each other from across an empty courtroom as a judge tries to get control over the proceedings. While this may be the case for divorcing couples who have a complex, contentious relationship, most spouses keep things out of the courtroom. Before making a decision on how you would like to pursue your divorce case, you should be aware of your legal options in Illinois. In order to appeal to the varying dynamics between divorcing couples, many law firms offer a variety of divorce resolutions.

Divorce Mediation

For couples who are splitting amicably and have productive communication skills, mediation is a good option. This form of alternative dispute resolution allows the spouses to work together to create their own, unique divorce agreement, without court intervention. A third-party mediator will be present throughout the process to keep things on track while remaining neutral to both spouses. They will not advocate on behalf of either party but will be well-versed in divorce law and the details of divorce agreements. Both spouses should show the agreement to their own individual attorneys before signing to ensure neither party is benefiting significantly from the agreement. 

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Naperville divorce attorney parenting plan

If you are considering divorce and have children with your spouse, you may be wondering how things will be handled if you do decide to split. Not all divorcing couples experience contention in their parental relationship; some simply lose their romantic connection after some time together. Regardless of how amicable your relationship is, you are required to create a parenting plan according to Illinois divorce laws. Co-parenting can be difficult, especially with someone who you have legally divorced. This parenting plan will help guide you and your spouse with your future parenting arrangements and decisions, especially if you do not stay on friendly terms forever.

Illinois Requirements

Parenting plans are fairly customizable to fit each family’s unique needs; however, there are a few issues that are required to be addressed in an Illinois plan. The first topic that must be outlined is parental responsibilities. Divorcing parents must designate a custodial parent, or primary caregiver, and non-custodial parent. You should also detail who will be doing what, including each parent’s ability to make education, healthcare, and extracurricular activity decisions. Parenting plans will also include a detailed schedule, known as parenting time, which notes who will be caring for the child each day of the week. Each family’s parenting time arrangement will differ, with some choosing a more equal division and others having one parent be the primary parent. You must also include information about how you will handle disagreements on your parenting plan. Most parents will turn to mediation to avoid spending time in court, but if a history of abuse is present, this may not be applicable. One of the last required areas in an Illinois parenting plan is how to handle the relocation. If one parent wishes to relocate with his or her child out of state, he or she will need permission from the other parent, or the court, to do so.

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Joliet Courthouse divorce attorney child support order

Divorce agreements are made with the intention that they will last forever. While this may be the case for those who get divorced and do not have any children or alimony requirements, divorce agreements rarely last the test of time. When children or monthly support payments are involved, things never remain the same over time. Luckily, the Illinois court system addresses this possibility within their divorce legislation. In order for modifications to be made to your agreement, you must meet the criteria outlined below.

Spousal Maintenance

The purpose of spousal maintenance is to even the financial divide between both spouses and provide the lower-earning spouse with financial assistance. The terms of these payments vary for each divorce agreement. Some may be expected to provide this support indefinitely while others have a specified timeline. Divorced couples always have the ability to revisit their agreement, especially if they feel that the spousal maintenance requirements are unnecessary or unfair. 

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