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DuPage County divorce attorneyIt is a trope that is played out in movies and on television regularly: a married couple is unhappy—possibly even separated—but neither wants to take action and file a petition for divorce. This situation could just as easily happen in real life. For some people, there may be a psychological barrier that prevents them from being the one to formally ask for a divorce. While such feelings are understandable, you may be able to reap a few unexpected benefits by filing your divorce petition before your spouse does.

The Legal Side

From a legal perspective, there is not much advantage to be gained by being the first to file. Unlike other types of civil court proceedings, there is no burden of proof that is automatically assumed by either side. This is especially true since Illinois eliminated fault-based divorce in 2016. Technically, the spouse who files is the plaintiff or petitioner, and the other spouse is the defendant or respondent. Both parties have equal rights to make requests, present evidence, and file motions.

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DuPage County family law attorneyWhen a couple decides to divorce, it is not only assets that must be divided during the proceedings, but also any marital debt that has accrued. As with assets, a family court will generally divide debts along equitable lines, meaning that the person who makes more or who has more assets will often be tasked with managing more debt, whether they originally incurred it or not. It may set your mind at ease to better understand the rationale judges use to make such determination so you can know if you are being unfairly saddled with too much debt.

Debts in Divorce

When discussing marital assets and debts, equity is the watchword - Illinois is an equitable distribution state, as opposed to a community property state, which means that the courts will divide both marital assets and debts according to each spouse’s ability to pay and the income they make. Generally, it is the fairest approach, as it ensures that each debt is assigned to the person who is most likely able to pay it. It most cases, the debt will follow the asset. For example, if one spouse is awarded a vehicle that still has a balance due on a loan, that spouse will take responsibility of both the ownership of the vehicle and payment of the loan.   

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DuPage County divorce attorneysDivorce can be difficult and painful for any couple, but victims of domestic violence face a unique situation that few understand. These cases are not generally about who gets the house, the kids, or the dog. Instead, they are focused on safety and security. Victims must take extra precautions. Above all else, they need strong allies and advocates in their corner to help protect them from further acts of violence. If you are a victim of domestic violence and are seeking a divorce, there are steps you can take to help you move forward safely, securely, and with a measure of confidence.

Be Prepared for Potential Safety Issues

Whether you are still living with an abusive partner and making plans, or have recently moved out and are afraid as to what may happen in the weeks and months to come, it is important that you take immediate steps to protect yourself. If you have not done so yet, take photographs of any bruises or injuries. Gather any medical documents you may have on previous injuries.

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DuPage County divorce lawyersDivorce is a mentally, emotionally, and often financially challenging process that can impact almost every aspect of your life. Furthermore, there are several pitfalls and missteps that can have a long-term effect on your life. But can divorce hurt your credit rating? And, if so, how?

Filing for Divorce Does Not Equal Credit Doom

The act of filing for divorce itself does not impact your credit. Instead, it is the actions or inactions following divorce that can negatively affect your credit score. For example, if you are ordered to pay child support during the divorce decree but fail to make your payments, a judgement may be entered against you. Ultimately, this judgement will have a negative impact on your credit rating.

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house in a divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer

Determining who will get the house is often one of the biggest issues that must be resolved for people going through the divorce process. It is likely that a house is a couple's most highly valued asset, and the decision of what happens to the house is affected by several factors.

Equitable Division

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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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