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Geneva parenting time attorneyFamily and relationship experts have long known that children generally fare best after their parents’ divorce or separation when both parents continue to play an active role in the children’s lives. There are, of course, many ways for parents to maintain a healthy relationship with their children, but most experts believe that time together is a vital part of doing so. In recent years, there has been a greater effort in many parts of the country to include fathers more in parenting arrangements following a divorce or separation, but change, it seems, has been slow in coming to Illinois.

In many situations, mothers are granted a majority of the parenting time with their children while fathers are forced to make do with less. A new study shows how much less, and the results are rather alarming.

Illinois Near the Bottom

Kane County divorce lawyersEveryone “knows” that about half of all marriages end in divorce. While this statistic is not strictly true—the real number is estimated to be between 30 and 40 percent—the reality is that thousands of divorces are granted every year in the United States, including many here in Illinois.

In terms of the law, a divorce is a civil legal action between two parties that seeks to dissolve the marital contract between them. When filing any type of legal action, the person who files the action must have a reason or “grounds” for doing so. In Illinois, there used to be many possible grounds on which a divorce could be sought, but there is only one that is still available.

Irreconcilable Differences

Geneva parental relocation attorneyFollowing a divorce, very few parents are able to reach an agreement in which their children spend equal time with both parents. In Illinois, however, parenting time is handled separately from significant decision-making responsibilities, which means that even if parenting time is not split equally, both parents could have equal authority regarding major decisions for the child.

Sometimes, the parent that has been given the majority of the parenting may wish to move from his or her current home. Because the child spends more than half of the time with that parent, it is easy for the parent to assume that they can simply move whenever they please. The law in Illinois does allow parents who share parenting time to move to a new home, but it must be done within certain geographical areas unless the non-moving parent grants his or her consent to the move.

How Far Can I Go?

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.

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