Brookfield Divorce Attorneys

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Before a marriage can be legally dissolved in Illinois, spouses are required to provide specific financial information and supporting documentation to each other and to the courts. Failing to fulfill these requirements can significantly delay the divorce process, which is not only time-consuming and expensive, but potentially emotionally draining, so if you have questions about how to file for divorce, it is crucial to retain an experienced Brookfield divorce attorney who can address your concerns and help you navigate the court system.

Filing a Divorce Petition

A couple who wishes to divorce must satisfy the following requirements before they can obtain a divorce:

  • They must have a valid marriage;
  • They can have no other pending divorce proceedings; and
  • At least one of the spouses must have lived in the state for no less than 90 days.

A couple who meets these eligibility requirements can then complete a petition for dissolution, which requires the inclusion of specific information, including:

  • A statement confirming that the divorce is the result of irreconcilable differences;
  • The current addresses and occupations of the spouses;
  • The names and ages of any children of the marriage;
  • The date and location of the marriage; and
  • Any arrangements that the couple has already reached regarding custody or property division.

After the petition has been served on the other spouse, the receiving party must respond by submitting an answer within one month.

Pre-Judgment Disclosures

Before a court will finalize a divorce or make a ruling regarding property division, both spouses are required to submit individual financial affidavits containing information about income, expenses, debts, and assets. As part of the required calculations, each party must list all of his or her incomes, including:

  • Regular employment earnings, such as salaries and wages;
  • Extra earnings, including overtime, commissions, tips, and bonuses;
  • Gifts;
  • Rental income;
  • Interest from dividends;
  • Disability benefits;
  • Retirement benefits and pensions;
  • Military allowances; and
  • Workers’ compensation.

Both parties are then required to calculate their expenses, which could include:

  • Living expenses, such as rent, utilities, and groceries;
  • Expenses associated with caring for minor children, which could include education costs, medical care, and extracurricular activities;
  • Personal expenses, such as medical costs, life insurance, and clothing; and
  • Transportation costs, including car payments, insurance, and gas.

Each spouse must then record all debts, including the specific amounts owed and the current monthly payments being made. Finally, the couple will record their assets, which could include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Bank accounts;
  • Cash;
  • Income tax and refunds;
  • Investments;
  • Motor vehicles;
  • Real estate;
  • Retirement benefits;
  • Stocks and bonds; and
  • Valuable collectibles.

The financial affidavit must include supportive evidence, which could include:

  • Recent income tax returns;
  • Pay stubs, invoices, and receipts;
  • Bank statements; and
  • Other supporting documentation.

Once the court is satisfied that each party’s financial affidavit is accurate and complete, it will make a decision on property division and maintenance before dissolving the marriage.

Contact an Experienced Brookfield Divorce Attorney Today

If you live in Brookfield and are filing for divorce or have already begun the process and need to submit a financial affidavit, please contact the Arami Law Office at (312) 212-1399. We will help you set up a free consultation with a dedicated attorney who can attempt to address all of your questions and concerns.