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Geneva property division lawyersIf you are considering divorce, you may be worried about how you and your spouse’s combined property will be divided. You may have seen television or movies where a spiteful spouse takes their former partner for everything, leaving the other spouse destitute. Luckily, the reality of property division during divorce is much more reasonable. Illinois courts distribute property and assets according to “equitable distribution” laws, which means that although property may not be divided 50/50, it will be divided justly.

What Is Considered Marital Property?

Not every asset that a spouse owns is eligible to be divided during a divorce according to Illinois laws. Only marital property, which is most property acquired during the marriage, will be equitably allocated between the spouses. This is not as simple as it may seem, however. For example, if a person is awarded a cash inheritance from a deceased relative, this money is considered separate property. It cannot be divided up during divorce. However, if the individual adds that money to a joint banking account or uses it to pay family bills, it becomes marital property and therefore is subject to division.

Kane County family law attorneyIt is nearly impossible to know for certain what percentage of married individuals have cheated on their spouses. There are several reasons for this. First, many people may be hesitant to admit instances of infidelity, even in an anonymous survey or study. Next, and perhaps more importantly, cheating can be defined differently from one relationship to another. Regardless of large-scale numbers, if your spouse has engaged in actions that you define as cheating, you may be at a loss regarding what to do next. Many couples never fully recovery from infidelity, and cheating is a contributing factor in a large number of divorces.

Not Grounds for Divorce

When you have been cheated on, it is understandable for you to feel betrayed and ready to end your relationship. In Illinois, however, adultery is no longer an available grounds for divorce. Since 2016, every divorce in the state is granted on the basis that irreconcilable differences have caused an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. By definition, all Illinois divorces are considered to be no-fault, which means the court has no interest in assigning blame to one spouse or the other for the breakdown.

Posted on in Guardian ad Litem

Geneva family law attorneyFamily law is one of the most sensitive and challenging areas of the law. While the applicable statutes themselves may not be quite as complicated as tax or real estate law, for example, the personal nature of issues such as divorce and the allocation of parental responsibilities make them particularly difficult for who are going through them.

In some cases, child-related disputes can become so contentious that the parties are unable to remain objective and focused on the child’s best interests. When this happens, the court may appoint a specially trained attorney to serve as a guardian ad litem (GAL) for the duration of the proceedings.

The Job of a GAL

Kane County divorce attorneyGoing through a divorce can be one of the most stressful things a person ever endures. According to the American Institute of Stress, divorce is second only to the death of a spouse in terms of the stress it brings to a person’s life. Although some couples will simply not be able to divorce without court intervention, preventing courtroom litigation can significantly reduce the emotional and financial costs of a divorce. For couples that are able to at least partially cooperate, mediation may be the best way to end their marriage fairly and civilly.

Mediation Puts More Control in the Hands of the Spouses

If your divorce ends up in litigation, any decision you and your spouse cannot agree to will be made by the judge. Judges can make decisions regarding spousal maintenance, child support, property division, and more. Although courts will always try to be as fair as possible, often court-ordered decisions do not fully satisfy either spouse. Mediation, on the other hand, puts much more control in the hands of the spouses. With help from the mediator, spouses negotiate and come to their own conclusions about things like property division and maintenance payments. Studies have shown that when individuals have more say over these types of decisions that they are more likely to comply with the judge’s final divorce decree. This results in fewer instances of returning to court to enforce or modify the decree. 

Kane County family law attorneyIn just a few short weeks, your children will be out of school for the summer. They are probably already looking forward to the freedom to sleep in and to spend time recreating with their friends. As a parent, you may also be excited for summer, but it is also common for parents to approach the extended break from school with at least some concerns. Such worries are often amplified for parents who share parental responsibilities with an ex-spouse. If you are subject to an Illinois parenting plan or custody agreement, it is important to prepare well in advance for the months ahead.

Review Your Existing Arrangements

Before planning any trips or summertime events, it is important to know what your parenting plan says about the summer break. Many parenting plans give the bulk of summer parenting time to the parent who sees the children less often during the school year—particularly if that parent lives relatively far away. Other plans keep a schedule similar to that which is in place during the school year. If your plan makes definitive arrangements regarding summer parenting time, you need to follow them or come up with a compromise so that both you and the other parent can enjoy the summer as well.

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