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High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162

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Posted on in Divorce

Oak Park, IL contested divorce attorney

Feelings of anxiety and stress are common for any couple which is moving forward with the dissolution of their marriage. A divorce can be a complex matter which can have a lasting effect on everyone involved. Going into a divorce, most people are unfamiliar with the steps involved, the legal requirements that must be met, and the length of time needed. Dissolving a marriage is never fun, and you may want to get your divorce over with as quickly as possible. However, there are certain factors that can cause the divorce process to go on longer, and so working with a knowledgeable divorce attorney is essential to ensure the process can conclude in a timely matter.

Is Your Divorce Contested or Uncontested?

While there is likely to be some level of disagreement between almost all divorcing spouses, determining what areas may cause the most contentious disputes can help take some of the surprises out of the process. Compromise is crucial during divorce, and if you and your ex-spouse are able to work together to reach a divorce settlement, this can save a great deal of time and money. If you can make the decision to “pick your battles,” you may be able to avoid long, drawn-out disputes. However, there may be some issues that you will be unable to resolve between the two of you, and so regarding those issues, it may be necessary to have the court make those decisions for you.

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Hillside family law attorney for legal separationA married person may consider divorce as an option for leaving a stressful or unhappy relationship and getting a fresh start. Agreeing to dissolve a marriage can be a difficult choice, since a person may be unwilling to give up the unity and love that brought the couple together. The divorce process will require spouses to identify and resolve the legal issues that must be addressed when ending their marriage, including the allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly known as child custody), child support, and the division of marital property. However, the complexity that might be involved in resolving these matters could be a negative for some couples, and ending the marriage could also lead to unwanted attention or embarrassment for either spouse. For spouses who are considering divorce but are unsure about whether to proceed with the end of their marriage, consulting with a skilled family law attorney could identify some alternative options.      

Can Marriage Counseling Be Beneficial?

Working together with a marriage counselor is an option that a couple may be willing to try once issues arise that threaten the relationship. However, the success of these types of sessions will depend on the amount of time and effort each spouse is willing to put in. While counseling may help some couples save their marriage, research has shown that approximately 38% of married couples get divorced within four years of attending marital counseling.

While the results of marriage counseling can vary drastically depending on a couple’s situation, it is still one of the most common routes taken by couples in crisis. Factors such as abuse, financial issues, and the loss of attraction could all result in counseling not being successful in repairing a relationship. In some cases, therapy may help one or both spouses realize that the marriage is beyond repair or that divorce is the best option.

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Oak Park parenting time lawyerThe end of a marriage can signify a new start for a former couple. However, divorce can be difficult for any children who are involved, since they then often have to split time between both parents. A new alternative to having children split time between two houses after a divorce is called “bird nesting.” This refers to an arrangement in which the divorcing parents themselves divide their time in a home, instead of the children being uprooted from the home for parenting time. The parents may each rent their own apartment or condo, or they may share a dwelling where one parent will stay even when it is not their parenting time. This type of parenting solution is not for everyone, but if parents do wish to use this option, their parenting plan document can spell out the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time arrangements, and more. 

Pros and Cons of “Bird Nesting”

After a divorce, if either parent has to buy a new house, that is a considerable expense. Renting a small apartment or condo that both parents can share can save a lot of money. Utilities will be less, and there are no property taxes to pay. In addition, there can be emotional benefits to the concept of “bird nesting,” since the children will not have to shuttle back and forth between two homes. Sometimes, this type of situation can even help the parents transition easier after the divorce.

However, there can also be challenges to this type of parenting arrangement. When a couple sells the marital home and go their separate ways, this can provide a clean break once property and assets are divided. On the other hand, if the parents still co-own and live in the marital home post-divorce, the lines in their relationship are often blurred. Basic issues like who pays the utility bills can turn into disputes. If a major home repair or new appliance is needed, the parents do not have a joint account anymore from which to take the money, and therefore, they will each need to contribute to funding the repairs.

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Hillside, IL order of protection attorney

Domestic violence is committed anytime an individual hits, kicks, chokes, harasses, threatens, or interferes with the personal liberty of a family member or a person in their household. Unfortunately, many people are affected by domestic abuse every day. In May 2019, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) answered their 5 millionth call from a victim seeking help. 

Trying to get out of an abusive marriage can be difficult. You might be afraid to leave your relationship if your spouse has threatened retaliation. Ending a dangerous marriage requires preparation and special considerations, especially if a child is involved. In some cases, you may be able to obtain an order of protection to restrict contact with the abuser during and after your divorce.  

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Oak Park prenup attorney

With a divorce comes many difficult emotions and questions about the future. Whether it be concern over child-related issues, where to live, or finding a job, a lot of people fear the unknown. This can be an uneasy time, and especially for a spouse who was a stay-at-home parent or who relied on his or her partner’s income. There are laws that govern the financial support an ex-spouse may be able to receive after the end of the marriage. One spouse may be entitled to receive spousal maintenance payments, but it is important to understand how eligibility for spousal support is established, how the dollar amount of the payments is calculated, and how long maintenance will last. 

How Is Spousal Support Determined in Illinois?

Under Illinois law, what used to be called alimony or spousal support is now termed spousal maintenance. This type of support can be granted to either party. Illinois courts do not consider fault in connection with the divorce or any misconduct committed by either spouse during the marriage when determining whether a spouse is eligible to receive maintenance. When deciding whether to award maintenance, the court will consider certain factors, such as:

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