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Wheaton divorce attorneyAlthough we usually think of marriage as a romantic union, it is also a financial union. When a couple marries, they combine their property, expenses, and debts. Undoing this financial fusion during divorce can quickly become complex. If you are getting divorced, you may have concerns about what property is rightfully yours and what belongs to your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. Read on to learn about how property is divided in an Illinois divorce and what to do if you need legal guidance during your split.

Illinois is an Equitable Distribution State

When a couple divorces, they have the option of making their own decisions about what property should go to which spouse. However, when divorcing spouses cannot agree to a property distribution arrangement, the court must intervene.

Unlike certain other states, Illinois does not simply split marital property in half and assign 50 percent of the value of the marital estate to each spouse. Instead, Illinois follows equitable distribution laws. According to equitable distribution, marital property is divided equitably, or fairly, depending on the spouses’ financial and life circumstances. Things like each spouse’s income, property, health, future earning capacity, and financial needs are taken into consideration. Before marital property can be divided, the court must determine what property is marital property and eligible for division and what property is separate property which is not divided.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysDomestic violence affects nearly three out of every ten women and one out of every ten men. If you are currently in or have recently left an abusive relationship, you know how devastating domestic violence can be. While divorce is often a stressful ordeal, a person divorcing an abusive spouse faces an especially daunting task. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help you get through your divorce as safely and confidently as possible. 

Keep Yourself Safe First and Foremost

If you are currently married to an abusive spouse, the most important first step for you to take is to secure your safety and the safety of your children. If you have been physically abused, take pictures of any injuries and get medical help immediately. An emergency order of protection (EOP) can be obtained from your local county courthouse.

These protection orders, also called restraining orders, can prevent an abusive spouse from being within a certain distance from you, your children, your place of work, and more. An EOP lasts 14 to 21 days and can be obtained without a hearing. If you need to establish a more permanent order of protection, you will be able to seek a plenary order of protection which can last up to two years.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysGetting divorced is unlike other break-ups. Not only do couples have to deal with the emotional consequences of ending a marriage, they must also deal with the legal and financial ramifications of getting divorced. There is no way to completely avoid all negative economic consequences during divorce, but there are a few things you can do to help minimize these consequences.

One of the best ways to protect your rights and safeguard your finances during divorce is to get help from a qualified Illinois divorce lawyer. Additionally, experts have other pieces of wisdom which can help you avoid the most common financial pitfalls during divorce.

Mistake 1: Being Unaware of Your Family’s Finances 

In many marriages, one person does the majority of the financial planning. If you are getting divorced and are not up-to-date regarding your financial scenario, you can easily be taken advantage of. If you are considering divorce, it is a good idea to gather certain documents now, instead of waiting until you need those documents. Unfortunately, divorce can sometimes bring out the worse in people and your ex may be unwilling or unable to provide these items in the future.

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Wheaton family law attorneysWhen parents finally reach the realization that they can no longer be happily married, their first concern is often how the divorce will affect their children. Fortunately, research has shown that children of divorced parents can thrive and be just as successful and contented as children with married parents. However, telling children about an impending divorce can be a near-monumental task to undertake. If you and your spouse have children and plan to separate or divorce, telling the children about the split may be a challenging and emotional conversation. However, there are some steps you can take to make the conversation about divorce less traumatic for you and your children.

If Possible, Tell the Kids Together

If you and your spouse are able to do so civilly, telling the children together can help them feel more secure. Presenting a united front in this way helps indicate to your children that although you may not be married to on another anymore, you will still be their parents. Telling the children as a couple also helps the children feel less obligated to pick sides. Of course, telling your kids about the split together is not always possible. Couples with extreme resentment towards each other may struggle to put the children’s needs first during the conversation and may make the situation more emotionally volatile.

Make the Conversation Age Appropriate

If you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse have several children together, you may be tempted to tell them about the divorce separately. Many experts suggest telling the children all at once instead of individually. Doing this reduces the chances that one child spreads misinformation to the others and adds unnecessary confusion. After the initial group discussion, you may want to follow up with each child independently. When discussing divorce with children under five, experts say that keeping the conversation simplistic and concrete is best. Focus on the vital information: where the child will live and who he or she will live with. School aged children can handle a bit more detail, but parents should be careful not to overshare. Teenaged children may be standoffish when learning about the divorce and act like they do not want to talk about their feelings. However, teens and preteens still need love and attention from parents just as younger children do. Give your teenaged child some time to cool off if he or she gets upset at the news and try to approach the topic later.

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Wheaton divorce lawyersDespite the romantic notion of “love at first sight,” a happy, healthy relationship does not develop overnight. It takes years of love and commitment by both partners. Likewise, very few marriages and long-term relationships fall apart all at once. Instead, in most cases, the partners begin growing apart over time as the health of the marriage deteriorates. In some situations, there may be a precipitating event—such as an episode of infidelity—that leads to a divorce, but, according to relationship experts, a struggling marriage is likely to be the result of much less dramatic, but just as serious, interpersonal issues.

Marriage and family therapists have a fairly good grasp of the problems facing unhappy couples. Some of the most common issues that ultimately lead to the breakdown of a marriage include:

Dying Curiosity

When you first dated your spouse, every conversation was exciting. You could hardly wait to learn more about him or her, what things they liked and did not like, and who they were as a person. As time goes on, couples begin to get bored, and each partner may feel like they are losing their unique identity. Experts suggest continuing to ask questions and to explore one another’s feelings and perspectives, no matter how long you have been together.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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