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Orland Park divorce lawyer

Frequently, legal blogs provide a concentrated look at the parts and pieces that make up a divorce. They explain each area in-depth and look at the finer details of the different aspects of divorce. However, it is also important to take more of a bird’s-eye view at the divorce process to understand how it plays out as a whole. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney is always the first step you should take. Not only can an attorney give you a better idea of what the road ahead of you looks like, but he or she can provide an outside perspective on your case while advocating on your behalf.

Filing a Petition

As with any legal process, the court must be notified of the impending legal action. A person who wishes to get a divorce must file a petition. The state of Illinois does not have a waiting period to file a petition, but at least one of the spouses must legally reside in the state on the day of the filing. In order for an Illinois judge to grant the divorce, one spouse must have legally resided in Illinois for 90 days before the judgment.

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Orland Park divorce lawyers

Divorce is stressful and it is rare that anyone walks away financially unscathed. Splitting up means leaving a combined household and having to set up two different homes and lives. It also means assets and debts will be divided, and despite the best efforts of the court, individuals often feel shortchanged. However, there are some steps a person can take in order to take less of a financial hit in a divorce. 

Know Your Assets and Debts (And Your Spouse’s)

Not every husband or wife is totally honest about what they own or what they owe. If you are faced with divorce, one of the first things to do is account for all bank accounts, investments, retirement plans, insurance policies, etc. that your spouse has. You also need to know where you stand on debt, like credit cards, taxes, and medical bills. One way to go about finding any hidden items is by getting a copy of your spouse’s credit report. If there is anything you do not recognize, you will need to dig deeper, perhaps with the help of a forensic accountant.

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Tinley Park divorce and pets lawyerIn the not-so-distant past, many people would have laughed at the idea of a pet’s custody being decided in court as part of a divorce settlement. However, last year, Illinois was the second state to pass a law stating that pet custody can indeed be determined in court, based on what the judge feels is best for the pet. Rather than still treating the pets as property, like an inanimate object or financial asset, your family pet may now be the subject of a custody case.

Proving You Are the Superior Pet Parent

Much like in a child custody agreement, judges will now have the authority and responsibility to consider the best living situation for the pets in a divorce case. If your soon-to-be-ex-spouse is ready to fight for custody, you will need to be prepared to prove your worth as a pet owner. Questions such as who took the animal to the vet, who typically cares for the pet, who has the better-suited home for the pet, and more may be considered. You will want to gather evidence, as you would with any other contested part of your divorce, to prove that you are the better pet parent or that the other party cannot give your animal friend the life that he or she deserves.

Coming to an Agreement

In some cases, divorced spouses may end up having to split custody, just like they would with children. In these cases, it is also a good idea to reach a legal agreement ahead of time about who will pay for vet bills and make decisions about veterinary care, where the pet will stay when either or both spouses will be traveling, etc.

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Unique Marital Assets and How to Divide Them in an Illinois Divorce

Oak Forest divorce lawyer for dividing marital propertyDivorce affects your entire life, from your living situation and daily routine to your finances. Under normal circumstances, finances can be a headache, and in the case of a divorce, they can be even more frustrating. Your assets and finances are a big part of your divorce settlement, and because of that, you will probably have a few questions. Who should take the house? Who gets the antique dining table in your home? How will you divide your retirement funds? These questions can be daunting, but they do not have to be impossible to resolve. With a little research and advice from a knowledgeable divorce lawyer, you can make the best decisions for your family.

The Family Home

During divorce, the easiest thing to do is to sell your house if you or your spouse do not have a particular attachment to it. By selling your house, you can your spouse can split the profits and carry on with your lives if you have equity in your home. If one spouse wants to keep the home, you will have to figure out if you can afford to keep it, and the home will need to be refinanced to remove the other spouse from the mortgage. Either way, you should get a proper valuation of your home so you know what you are dealing with.

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3 Common Misconceptions About Divorce in Illinois

Palos Heights divorce lawyerDivorce is not uncommon; depending on which reference you are using, the divorce rate in the United States is reported to be anywhere between 40 and 50 percent. With that number in mind, you would think that more people would understand the ins and the outs of divorce, but many topics still seem to be misunderstood by most people. Here are three widely accepted “facts” of divorce and the truths behind them:

1. If One Spouse Is at Fault for the Divorce, They Will Be Penalized

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) only recognizes “irreconcilable differences” as the grounds, or reason, for divorce. No-fault divorce only requires a spouse who files for divorce to state that their marriage has irretrievably broken down, without requiring them to provide a reason. The IMDMA states that decisions about property division and spousal support cannot be made with regard to any sort of marital misconduct. So in short, unless a spouse is dissipating marital property in an affair (such as by using marital funds to buy gifts for a paramour), adultery or other reasons one spouse is at fault will likely not affect the legal aspects of a divorce.

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