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Divorce FAQs

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Chicago Divorce FAQs

Our Divorce Lawyers in Chicago Have Answers

Since 2004, Arami Law has provided quality legal services in a supportive manner for residents of the greater Chicago area. We understand the stress our clients face when trying to decide the best course of action for themselves and their children. That’s why we’re committed to providing personalized service that addresses the issues that are most important to you. We deliver more than quality legal representation; we treat our clients with sensitivity, respect, and compassion for their struggle. What follows is a list of frequently asked questions for Chicagoans considering divorce.

How do I file for divorce?

As long as you or your spouse has been an Illinois resident for six months, you can file at the court of the county where one of you lives. You can get the forms from the county clerk. It is important to understand that while filing for divorce is easy, it starts a process that can be very complex to manage. Preplanning can save you and your spouse a great deal of stress and expense. It’s always best to consult an experienced divorce attorney before taking any action.

Do we need lawyers if we agree on everything in the divorce?

Even if you agree on absolutely everything, you may not have considered all the details. An experienced marital attorney can help you fill in the gaps of your understanding about what you need to resolve. Also, you need a clear, concise agreement to present to the court for approval. A court can reject your terms if they do not thoroughly address all the ancillary issues of your divorce or are too one-sided. If you are able to cooperate to a great degree, you might consider a collaborative divorce in which you work with a single attorney to finalize a settlement.

Does Illinois have no-fault divorce?

Yes. A petitioner can file citing irreconcilable differences in our state.

Should we consider mediation?

Mediation is an excellent way to arrive at a cost-effective agreement on issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, and property division. The more matters you can resolve through mediation, the fewer you have to try in court.

Should a petitioner allege grounds for divorce in Illinois?

Grounds rarely affect ancillary issues in divorce proceedings. In fact, Illinois law prohibits the court from considering marital misconduct for issues such as child support and spousal maintenance. Infidelity does not affect child custody or parenting time allocations unless the conduct went beyond adultery to exposing the children to a blatantly immoral lifestyle. Under certain circumstances, cruelty, if proven, may influence the court in a child custody hearing. As for property claims, if your cheating spouse spent significant marital assets on a paramour, you could recoup that by showing dissipation of the marital estate.

Proving grounds requires substantive evidence that the court finds convincing. For example, suspicion of adultery is not enough; you must show a cheating spouse had the interest and the opportunity with firm evidence, such as phone records and hotel receipts.

Do I have to pay alimony/maintenance in a divorce?

Many times one spouse will be ordered to pay spousal maintenance to the other when they divorce. However, there are many important factors to consider and every situation is unique so it’s best to contact us to discuss this matter further.

Who receives custody of the children in a divorce?

Previously, Illinois recognized two types of custody: legal and physical. However, the state now refers to the concept of custody as parental responsibilities, and parents must agree to a parenting plan that details where the child will live, as well as allocating decision-making authority and parenting time (previously known as visitation). Parents who cannot work together to come to an agreement will have to accept a court’s ruling on the matter. We can help you work through these issues, which is why it’s best to contact our office if you have young children and are going through a divorce.

How much will it cost to file for divorce?

The cost of divorce can vary greatly depending on several factors, however, the fee for filing for divorce typically ranges from $100 – $400 in most places. However, each situation is unique so please contact us for more details.

How is child support determined?

There are many factors that will play a role in determining how much child support will be awarded. For example, how many children need to be supported, what kind of health care is needed, and how much money both spouses currently earn. Because every situation is different, it is best to contact our office for more details.

What happens to retirement funds and 401(k) plans in a divorce?

Like all other assets, retirement funds can be part of a divorce settlement. No two situations are the same, so it’s best to contact us and explain your situation, which will allow us to better understand your case.

How long does it take for a divorce to be final?

The timing of divorce is affected by several factors, but in most cases, a divorce will typically take up to six months. Some divorce cases can be finalized quicker and many can take longer. Contact us and we’ll discuss the most likely scenarios in your particular situation.

My spouse and I agree on all issues. Do I need to have an attorney to get a divorce?

Even if you and your spouse have no disagreements with your divorce settlement, it is still a good idea to contact and retain a divorce attorney. Without any agreement on paper either spouse could change his or her mind, which would leave no guarantee that the verbal agreement would be honored. Contact us to see why you should use our office in divorce.

What do I have to do to get the divorce process started?

The first step to begin divorce proceedings is to file for a divorce petition with the court. We can explain how the process works and help you do this.

How can I get visitation with my child when my ex won’t let me see them?

If there is a disagreement in visitation rights or parenting time and one parent is not complying with the agreement, then the other parent can petition the court for help. Likewise, if you aren’t satisfied with the agreement, then you can also petition the court for a change. Every case is unique and a lot of factors are involved so contact us to learn more about these situations.

What if the non-custodial parent fails to pay the court-ordered support?

When the non-custodial parent refuses to pay child support the custodial parent should contact an attorney for help. At Arami Law we will take the necessary legal steps in order to get the non-complying spouse to honor the court order.

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