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5 Must-Haves in Your Divorce Settlement

Going through a divorce can be challenging, especially when couples are trying to understand aspects of their divorce settlement. A divorce settlement is a legal agreement that outlines the terms of the divorce, including custody arrangements and property distribution. It’s imperative that couples have specific aspects in their divorce settlement to prevent any potential disputes and outline who’s responsible for the aspects. At WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC, we’re here to help Illinois residents understand the five must-haves in your divorce settlement and how our services can assist. 

What Is Essential to Have In Your Divorce Settlement?

Illinois has specific criteria for what needs to be included in a divorce settlement. These include but are not limited to:

  •     Debt and Asset Distribution 

The court will evaluate any debt that was acquired during the marriage to determine how to distribute it between spouses. Assets refer to items of value that such as bank accounts, housing, and jewelry. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, meaning that any debt and assets will be distributed in a way that’s fair to each spouse, which doesn’t necessarily mean it will be equal. In order to make this determination, the court will distinguish between non-marital, meaning anything acquired before the start of the marriage, and marital debts.

  •     Parenting Plan 

 If the couple has children, the court will need to specify a parenting plan. A parenting plan will outline parenting time for each parent along with how decisions will be made for the couple’s children and who’s responsible for these decisions. This includes aspects such as medical care, education, extracurricular, and religious upbringing. An Allocation Judgment will then be prepared, which includes the parenting plan details such as parenting time and decision-making.

  •     Spousal Maintenance 

Spousal maintenance, also referred to as alimony, is a legal obligation for a spouse to provide financial assistance to the other spouse. It’s not always required in divorce cases but should be outlined in the divorce settlement. These payments can help the spouse with any expenses that occur as a result of the divorce.  

  •     Child Support 

Child support is ongoing financial payments that a spouse makes to support the children. These payments will vary depending on the number of children, the needs of the parent, the amount of parenting time each party has, and the income of the parties. Child support can be used for living expenses, medical care, educational expenses, and any other needs that the child has. Child support is not meant to financially support the spouse, as child support is separate from spousal maintenance. 

  •     Tax Information

Tax information includes details about who can claim any children as dependents on taxes. It also includes how taxes should be filed, whether jointly or separately. 

How Can an Attorney Help Me?

At WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC, we can help you understand the divorce process and how a divorce settlement is reached. In addition, we can help explain your rights in court and how Illinois decides on various factors of a divorce settlement. We’re here to answer any questions you have about divorce proceedings and provide you with the support you need. 

Contact Us Today 

If you have questions about divorce settlements, contact our team today. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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