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Divorce & Legal Separation

Identifying and Working Towards Your Divorce Goals | Illinois Divorce Law Explained

Identifying and Working Towards Your Divorce Goals | Illinois Divorce Law Explained

In this article, we will discuss how you can identify and work word towards your goals in an Illinois divorce.  We will discuss “Long Term Divorce Goals” “Compromise in Divorce” and “How to Achieve your Divorce Goals”

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What Happens to Pets in a Divorce in Illinois? | Illinois Divorce Law for Pets

What Happens to Pets in a Divorce in Illinois? | Illinois Divorce Law for Pets

Pets are valued and loved members of their families.  Who gets the pets can be one of the most divisive elements of a divorce.  In this article, we will discuss what happens to pets in divorce and what Illinois law says about the divorce.

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Illinois Divorce Frequently Asked Questions | Divorce FAQ

Illinois Divorce Frequently Asked Questions | Divorce FAQ

In this article, we will answer frequently asked questions about Illinois divorce, including:

  • Is there a waiting period to get a divorce in Illinois?
  • Is Illinois a 50/50 state for divorce?
  • Do both parties have to agree to get a divorce?
  • Can you be denied a divorce in Illinois?
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Estate Planning After a Divorce | Estate Planning For Divorced Parents

Estate Planning After a Divorce | Estate Planning For Divorced Parents

In this article, we will explain common estate planning considerations after a divorce.  We will discuss why estate planning after a divorce is particularly important, how to update your estate plan after a divorce, and estate planning after you remarry.

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What Happens When a Divorce Goes to Trial in Illinois?

What Happens When a Divorce Goes to Trial in Illinois?

In this article, we explain what happens when a divorce goes to trial in Illinois, including: “when does an Illinois divorce go to trial?” and “how does a divorce trial work in Illinois?”

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How Long Does a Divorce Take in Illinois?

How Long Does a Divorce Take in Illinois?

We discuss  length of time a divorce in Illinois takes, including “The Divorce Timeline”, “What Affects the Timing of Your Divorce”, and “How to Speed Up Your Divorce Process”. The biggest factor in how much time a divorce requires is whether it is contested or uncontested.

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Will Dating While My Divorce is Pending Affect the Outcome?

Will Dating While My Divorce is Pending Affect the Outcome?

We examine whether dating during a divorce impacts the outcome of the divorce.  We look at the emotions involved, parental responsibilities, and issues that dating during a divorce can cause in negotiating a settlement.

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Illinois Divorce Forms Explained

Illinois Divorce Forms Explained

In this article we will explain the forms necessary for a couple to file for a divorce in Illinois, including “where to find the required forms for an Illinois divorce,” “What are the Required Forms for an Illinois Divorce?” and “How to Fill Out Illinois divorce forms.” 

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What are the Legal Requirements for Divorce in Illinois?

What are the Legal Requirements for Divorce in Illinois?

In this article, we explain the legal requirements for divorce in Illinois.  To file or petition for divorce in Illinois, the state requires residency for at least 90 days. The filing must also take place with a circuit court in which one of the spouses currently resides.

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How Is Debt Divided in Illinois Divorce?

How Is Debt Divided in Illinois Divorce?

In this article we will explain the division of debt in Illinois divorces, including “types of debt in Illinois divorce”, “what impacts how debt is divided in Illinois divorce?” and “the process of dividing debt in Illinois divorce”. Most couples think about the division of assets and property, but may forget about the division of debt in a divorce, which is an important financial aspect of divorce.

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Conciliation Conferences in Illinois Divorce

Conciliation Conferences in Illinois Divorce

In this article we will explain Illinois divorce courts’ power to order conciliation conferences between the parties to a divorce as well as the court’s power to order classes teaching the effects of a divorce on minor children, in order to assist the parties in attempting reconciliation.

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Illinois Legal Separation Explained

Illinois Legal Separation Explained

In this article, we explain legal separation in Illinois, including: what is legal separation?, what is the difference between legal separation and divorce?, and what are the prerequisites for legal separation in Illinois?  We also explain the Illinois legal separation process as well as the benefits of legal separation as compared to divorce.  

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Do I Have to Attend Court in Order to Get a Divorce in Illinois?

Do I Have to Attend Court in Order to Get a Divorce in Illinois?

We explain whether you have to attend court in order to get a #divorce in Illinois.  We explain the differences between an uncontested divorce and a contested divorce as well as when court attendance is required in each circumstance.  

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Illinois Uncontested Divorce Explained

Illinois Uncontested Divorce Explained

In this article, we will explain uncontested divorce in Illinois, including “what is an uncontested divorce in Illinois?” and “what is the difference between uncontested divorce and joint simplified divorce in Illinois?” We will also explain how uncontested divorce relates to collaborative divorce, cooperative divorce and family mediation.

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Illinois Joint Simplified Divorce Explained

Illinois Joint Simplified Divorce Explained

In this article, we will explain joint simplified divorce in Illinois, including: “what is a joint simplified divorce?,” “what are the requirements for a joint simplified divorce in Illinois?,” “what is the procedure for a joint simplified divorce in Illinois?,” and “what if you don’t qualify for a joint simplified divorce?”

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How Are Retirement Accounts Divided in Illinois Divorce?

How Are Retirement Accounts Divided in Illinois Divorce?

In this article we will explain the division of retirement accounts such as IRAs, 401(k)s, and pensions in Illinois divorce.  We will discuss when a retirement account will be classified as a marital asset.  We will explain what a QDRO is and how QDROs work.  We will also discuss some special considerations that apply to the division of retirement accounts in divorce.  

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Can an Illinois Divorce Be Cancelled if the Parties Reconcile?

Can an Illinois Divorce Be Cancelled if the Parties Reconcile?

In this article, we will explain what happens if the parties to an Illinois divorce reconcile and decide to call off the divorce.  We explain dismissal of divorce proceedings, suspension of the divorce via the court’s reconciliation calendar, and remarriage after the divorce is final.  

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How to Obtain Health Insurance After a Divorce | Illinois Divorce Law

How to Obtain Health Insurance After a Divorce | Illinois Divorce Law

In this article, we will explain how to obtain health insurance after a divorce.  We will explain the impact of a divorce on your health insurance and your options for obtaining new insurance if you were previously covered under your ex-spouse’s plan.  

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How to File for Divorce in Illinois

How to File for Divorce in Illinois

In this article, we will explain how to file for divorce in Illinois. Divorce is a difficult time for many people. Emotions are all over the place, finances are stretched and stress levels are at an all-time high

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The Illinois Divorce Process Explained

The Illinois Divorce Process Explained

In this Learn About Law article, we discuss the three phases of divorce in Illinois. The three phases to a divorce are the temporary phase, the discovery phase, and the resolution phase. How to file for divorce in Illinois is also discussed.

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Marital Settlement Agreements Explained | Illinois Divorce Settlements

Marital Settlement Agreements Explained | Illinois Divorce Settlements

One of the primary responsibilities of a good divorce attorney is to attempt to settle the major issues in a divorce case prior to trial.If this can be accomplished, both sides will save on attorney fees,and there will be more marital assets remaining for division among the parties.  If the parties are unable to resolve all of the major issues in their divorce, the outstanding issues will be resolved through a trial, and the judge will issue an order of dissolution setting forth his or her rulings on these issues.  The alternative to a trial is a Marital Settlement Agreement.

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Recent Changes to Illinois Divorce Law

Recent Changes to Illinois Divorce Law

In 2016, there have been several major changes to Illinois divorce law, which are designed to bring the law into alignment with the realities of modern co-parenting arrangements and to soften the blow of divorces.  More changes are on the way in 2017 as well.  You can read our article about changes to Illinois child support laws for 2017 here. 

Grounds for Divorce

Prior to 2016 there were (11) grounds for dissolution of marriage in Illinois:...

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Dissipation & Contribution Explained

Dissipation & Contribution Explained

The most challenging and time consuming portion of any divorce proceeding, is sorting through the finances.  Dissipation and contribution are often an overlooked component when analyzing marital finances because both concepts deal with money that has already been spent. The key difference between the two (2) concepts lies in how the money was spent.  

Dissipation                

 When one spouse uses marital resources for non-marital purposes, it is likely they have “dissipated” the marital estate. If a dissipation has occurred, then the spouse who has caused the dissipation must reimburse the marital estate for this improper expenditure. Examples of typical dissipation are:

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How To File A Divorce Petition In Illinois

How To File A Divorce Petition In Illinois

It is an unfortunate reality that a large percentage of marriages end in divorce.  Divorce proceedings can be extremely emotional and stressful for all the parties involved.  The process of obtaining a divorce or dissolution of marriage, as the courts refer to it as, can be made less traumatic when parties understand the procedure.  In this article, I will discuss the first step of dissolution proceedings, which is filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is the initial filing in a dissolution proceeding.  It is a document in which a Petitioner is praying for a Judgment of Dissolution from the court.  It requests the court to make decisions involving the care, custody and control of the parties’ minor children, the equitable division of the real and personal property, the equitable division of the debts and obligations of the parties and any additional matters the parties need resolved.

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How is Property Divided in Illinois Divorce?

How is Property Divided in Illinois Divorce?

There are several issues courts consider when dividing marital property in the event of dissolution of a marriage.  The first issue is to determine the types of property that will be divided.  Property subject to division by the court includes, but is not limited to, homes, automobiles, furniture, bank accounts, retirement accounts, pensions, stocks, and business interests.Most people are familiar with community property states, such as California, that divide the marital estate equally. Illinois is an equitable property state and, therefore, Illinois courts order a fair division of the property based on the following factors:

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