The Divorcerer Speaks
Fast, Finalized Divorce: Top 7 Tips
I often receive calls inquiring how quickly I can get a divorce finalized and the answer is always the same – that is entirely up to the parties seeking the divorce.
- Are you both prepared to commence divorce proceedings? If so, are you both in a place where the lines of communication are open?
- Have you fully disclosed to each other all of your individually-held and jointly-held assets and liabilities along with disclosing monthly income and expenses? In Illinois, there is a form Financial Affidavit to complete.
- Do you know what your rights are to these assets and liabilities? If so, have you determined how you want to allocate these assets and liabilities? Are you both in agreement with the proposed allocation?
- Have you both provided your respective income documentation to determine statutory maintenance calculations (also known as alimony), if any?
- Do you have children? If so, have you determined a parenting schedule? Have you determined decision-making authority for health, education, extra-curricular and religion?
- If you have children, the same documentation from Paragraph 4 will be utilized to determine statutory child support obligations and contributions to child-care expenses.
- Do you each have individual counsel (or is one party represented by counsel and the other party representing himself or herself Pro Se)?
Many individuals cannot determine the answers to most of these questions. To that end, you must first understand the basics of the process, which information can be obtained through an initial consultation with an attorney(s). Then, you should select the attorney that best fits your needs and retain their services, as you need to understand how the current, and constantly changing, laws apply to the specific facts of your case (to ensure protections are in place and that equitable allocations occur). Furthermore, statutory maintenance and/or child support calculations are key components that can also effect financial allocation of assets and liabilities, which can be properly calculated and explained by your attorney.
For these reasons, and many more, it is always suggested that parties retain counsel to protect their interests; with the right attorney in place you can often obtain the results that you are seeking in an amicable manner for a fast, finalized divorce.
Jennifer R. Ward is the founder of WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC and was admitted to the Illinois bar in 2002. Ms. Ward continues to exclusively practice matrimonial and family law in the Chicagoland area. Additionally, Ms. Ward has been Adjunct Faculty at the John Marshall Law School since 2005 and teaches family law legal drafting to law students in a Legal Writing program that U.S. News and World Report ranked as #5 in the Country in 2017. Ms. Ward also had the honor of speaking at the “Leaving a Long-Term Marriage” workshop produced by The Lilac Tree, an Evanston-based not-for-profit resource for women contemplating divorce.
You can find Jennifer R. Ward, Founder of WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC at www.wardfamilylawchicago.com or you can follow her on Facebook @WardFamilyLaw, Instagram @divorcerer, Google Plus @Wardfamilylawchicago and Twitter @WardFamLawIL