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Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_488289283-1.jpg Divorces can run the gamut from relatively quick and easy when a couple is amicable to long, drawn-out, and contentious when they are not. If you are expecting the former, it can be tempting for you and your spouse to forego attorneys altogether and attempt to accomplish your divorce without help. Going through a divorce unrepresented can put you at a considerable disadvantage, whether you realize it or not. You may not be fully aware of the rights that you have, and a divorce can go from amicable to disastrous in the blink of an eye. Remember that you and your spouse are splitting for a good reason and strongly consider getting legal help from the start, even if you think you could go it alone. 

What Are Some Things that Could Go Wrong if I Get Divorced Without a Lawyer?

Getting your own legal counsel is extremely unlikely to make your divorce more difficult under any circumstances, but failing to do so could cause problems. Going into a divorce unrepresented is a risky option for reasons like: 

  • Amicability changes - It might seem like you and your spouse are still friendly despite the breakdown in your romantic relationship and will have no issue handling the divorce alone. However, this could change very quickly. You could discover that your spouse’s personality or demands change when they begin dating someone else, or you could experience much more conflict than you initially thought over certain issues. 
  • Secrets emerging - Can you say for certain that your spouse is not hiding any money or assets that you should be entitled to a share of? Probably not - it is more common than you might think. Finding out midway through a divorce that your spouse has a retirement account you did not know about can be a huge setback. An attorney will be able to locate secret assets during the discovery process. 
  • Sticking points - Most couples find that there is at least one issue they simply cannot agree on. Child custody concerns are a common sticking point. When you and your spouse reach an impasse, you may have little choice but to seek help from a lawyer. It is generally easier if the attorney has been representing you from the start as opposed to entering your case at a late stage. 

Divorce attorneys are often quite good at minimizing conflict if that is your goal. Hiring a lawyer is not likely to turn an amicable divorce into a contentious one, but the reverse could be true for some. 

Geneva Divorce LawyerPets are not just property to their owners. They are companions. Many consider them family members. Further, they are living, breathing, feeling, beings. People love their pets in a way that they do not love their couch, rug, or even car in most cases. If you and your spouse adopted a pet together and are now getting a divorce, you will need to address who will have custody of the pet and who will provide for its needs. A qualified divorce attorney can help you work out your pet custody concerns as one important part of resolving your divorce. 

What Should I Know About Pet Custody Issues in a Divorce?

In some divorce cases, one spouse is happy to let the other take “their” pet. In others, the spouses adopted a dog together, or have both grown attached to a cat over the years. Neither spouse may be willing to completely part with their beloved pet, so animal custody can become quite a contentious issue for some couples. Fortunately, there are solutions in Illinois. If you are faced with pet custody issues in your divorce, you should know: 

  • Joint custody - Illinois courts can now grant joint custody over a pet. Both spouses must be able to care for the pet and must agree to share custody. You and your spouse would need to reach an agreement somewhat similar to a parenting plan. This agreement would cover who will have physical possession of the pet and when, in addition to who will be financially responsible for the pet’s needs. Veterinary care can be quite expensive, so it is important that this is carefully addressed. 
  • Pet’s well-being - Just as you may be emotionally attached to your pet, your pet may be emotionally attached to you in return. Judges in Illinois can now consider both the emotional as well as physical well-being of the pet itself in deciding who the pet should spend time with going forward. Whether you or your spouse is physically able to adequately care for the pet independently will also be important. 
  • Property - Legally, pets are still considered property, although many pet owners do not like to think about it that way. Equitable division of property principles can come into play. 

Addressing ownership of a pet in divorce cases can become quite complex. You may need a skilled attorney to help you find an arrangement that works in your case. 

kane county divorce lawyerAnyone who has been through a divorce or is currently in the middle of divorce proceedings would likely agree that finalizing a divorce can be a complicated and contentious feat. When substantial assets and high net worth are involved, the complexities and conflicting opinions can increase exponentially. If you are facing a high-asset divorce in Illinois, there are steps you can take to make the process as smooth as possible and help you to achieve a successful settlement in the end.

Identify and Organize All Assets

While building a comprehensive list of all of your assets may not be the first thing that comes to mind at the onset of a divorce, identifying and organizing all assets as soon as possible is incredibly important. It is also important that you are completely transparent when creating this list. If it is discovered that assets are being hidden, it can have a detrimental impact on the determined settlement that one receives. This includes attempting to liquidate, devalue, or transfer ownership of any assets. 

Take the time to build an inventory of your property ahead of time. It is also recommended to make copies of documents and records as these may be unavailable when divorce proceedings begin. 

DuPage County divorce attorney

Although the coronavirus health crisis has impacted day-to-day living, everything is moving forward in the family law court system. In Illinois, non-essential businesses such as restaurants and shopping malls were closed temporarily but not the judiciary. While many changes have been implemented, the courts have remained open to the public. In light of the stress of being quarantined at home or the loss of income, COVID-19 has placed an enormous strain on relationships, leading many couples to consider filing for divorce. Therefore, if you are wondering if you can obtain a divorce at this time, the answer is absolutely yes.  

Virtual Meeting Options

In order to protect the safety of their clients, many law firms are offering digital services to meet their clients’ legal needs. In the practice area of divorce and family law, this may include consultations with couples over the phone or by video chat. For those firms such as The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates. that offer mediation as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR), spouses may speak with their third-party mediator through various electronic means. This may include video conferencing apps such as Zoom, Go-to Meetings, or FaceTime. However, at The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates, we also continue to offer face-to-face meetings and personal mediation services, including Collaborative Law.

Kane County divorce attorneyMarriage is a bond that unites two people. However, even though a couple’s marriage vows say that they will stay together “in sickness and in health,” sometimes a marriage does not last, and divorce becomes necessary. Some cultures and religions look down on getting a divorce, and parents may think that it is better to say married for their children, but a divorce is often the best decision for the two parties, and living in an unhappy home can cause more harm to children than separated parents.

During the colonial days of the United States, one of the earliest examples of divorce could be seen in Massachusetts. In 1629, a judicial council was developed there to grant divorces on the grounds of instances such as of bigamy, adultery, or desertion. Today, an affair is still a common reason for a couple to get a divorce, but there are a wide variety of other circumstances in which a couple may decide to separate, including:

  • Different Life Goals - It is easy to think that life will proceed the way you expect after getting married. The truth is, some people get married without discussing their future together. If one spouse wants to travel the globe while the other wants to settle down and start a family, it will be difficult for them to see eye to eye down the road, and they may not wish to stay together. Some people also think that they will be able to change their spouse’s habits or negative qualities. When this effort turns out to be fruitless, it may be time to consider divorce.
  • Wrong Reasons - It is true that some people marry for money, and these types of marriages often end in divorce. Another wrong reason a person may get married is because they feel like they have to. If someone is in a relationship for a long time and feels pressured to take the next step, or if a couple chooses to get married before they are ready for this commitment, these marriages are usually not built to last.
  • No Romance - A relationship may have started out full of fire and passion, but after years of being together, the romance and effort may have died, and neither partner is likely to be happy. A healthy relationship maintains an equilibrium in which both partners are satisfied. Every couple has a different love language, but if partners are not taking time for each other or are avoiding each other’s company, there may be no love left to share, and divorce may be the best option. 

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

No matter the reason for your divorce, you deserve to take steps that will lead you towards a happier life. To ensure that you can reach a positive outcome to your divorce, contact an experienced Geneva divorce attorney to work out issues such as the division of assets and parental responsibilities. Call our office today at 630-232-9700 to schedule a consultation.  

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