Every couple who divorces has their own unique reason for doing so, and while each divorce follows its own path, the legal divorce basics do not vary. A better understanding of what divorce is likely to mean for you can help you better protect both your parental and financial rights. One of the more important steps you can take to protect these rights is working closely with an experienced local divorce attorney in Chicago.
A term that applies to all divorces is the division of marital property, and in the State of Illinois, these assets must be divided between the divorcing spouses equitably, which means fairly – once a range of applicable circumstances is considered. If you, your spouse, or both of you together came to own something while you were married, it’s almost certainly considered marital and will need to be addressed in this property division.
In Illinois, child custody is addressed in terms of an allocation of parental responsibilities – parenting time and decision-making. Parental responsibilities set the stage for how you and your children’s other parent will tackle primary decision-making on behalf of your children, which includes decisions about the following:
Parental responsibilities also set parenting time with the kids, and your parenting time schedule can be as structured or as general as you would like and as you need. When it comes to primary matters involving children, Illinois courts are always guided by the best interests of those children, which – all things being equal – means maximizing each spouse’s parenting time.
A parent’s financial obligation to their children extends throughout their childhoods, and divorce does not alter this fact. Child support is the state’s tool for balancing this responsibility between both parents in accordance with their ability to pay. Even when parents divide their parenting time evenly – or nearly so – the parent who earns more in conjunction with the parenting time schedule will determine who is likely to be responsible for paying child support.
When divorce leaves the two former spouses with a significant financial imbalance, spousal support may be awarded. When one spouse doesn’t have the means to continue supporting themself at or near the same standard of living while the other has the financial ability to provide additional support, alimony is more likely to be sought and awarded. There are many factors considered for maintenance, including incomes, investments/savings, inheritance, and duration of the marriage.
When couples are able to resolve each of the applicable terms of divorce between themselves and their respective divorce attorneys, Illinois courts typically sign off on their mutual decisions. When one or more terms, however, remain at odds, the court will make the necessary determinations in accordance with state guidelines.
The practiced local divorce attorneys at WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC, recognize how challenging divorce is and have the experience, compassion, and legal skill to protect your rights – in pursuit of favorable terms that work for you and your children. To learn more, don’t wait to contact us today.
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