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

Article written by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
October 28, 2019

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”

For more on Illinois divorce laws, see our article, Illinois Divorce FAQ.

Long-Term Divorce Goals in Illinois

When beginning the divorce process, it is often easy to keep some short-term goals in mind.  These are objectives that are related to your immediate issues such as custody of any children and ownership of property such as a family home or a car.  These goals are important as they will have a direct and immediate impact on the divorced couple’s financial status and living situation, but they are not the only goals to consider in a divorce.  

Long-term divorce goals are in fact much more important and impactful than many short term goals.  Long-term divorce goals include often decades-long payments such as child support and alimony. Ask yourself questions related to long-term goals for yourself and your family.  What will you be worrying about ten or twenty years from now?  For example, do you plan on having your children go to college?  You may want to debate on stipulation for post-secondary education child support.  Another important long-term consideration is in shared debt and savings.  

While it is easy to only look at immediate payment, it is also important to focus on making sure any debt you assume can reasonably be maintained and that you are not significantly missing out of savings you have contributed to.  You may want to ask yourself, for example, when you plan on retiring and investigating how much the divorce may impact your retirement plans.  If you need advice on what some overlooked long-term goals may be, we recommend contacting your divorce attorney who can offer advice on what you may be missing.

Compromise in Divorce in Illinois

A divorce can be a stressful and emotional time for both parties.  It can be easy to cave to the demands of the other person and want to give them everything they ask for.  It can also be just as easy to feel vengeful or angry and want to punish the opposing person for the ways they have wronged you.  Thinking this way can be very harmful to your long-term goals in the divorce.  Remember that you are entitled to the same fair and equal consideration that your ex is.  It may be hard, but speaking up for your future goals is important in protecting yourself and your loved ones, and you must also remember that the opposing party is in the same stressful situation.  An attorney can help remove some of the emotion and subjectivity of a divorce and can also help you work towards reasonable compromise that benefits both parties.  

Achieving Your Divorce Goals in Illinois

Once you have settled on what your goals are for the divorce in both the short and the long term, the next step is making sure you achieve those goals.  There are several different processes for a divorce, and familiarizing yourself with your options will help you decide which direction is best for you and your goals. One popular option is mediation where your case will be handled by an objective third party who will facilitate the division of assets based on both the demands of the parties and the divorce laws.  If you cannot reach agreement, you may push the divorce to trial where both parties will present their claims and evidence to a judge who will determine divisions.  It is important to know that you may not receive everything you demand initially and that your needs may develop as the divorce process continues. Working with an attorney to prioritize your demands may be a good step in assuring that, even if you are not given everything you ask for, you are given what you need to meet your short and long-term goals. Setting priorities will let deciding parties know what is most important to you and what is more malleable in debate.

If you would like to learn more details about your divorce options, see our article titled Alternatives to Divorce in Illinois.

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