Divorce FAQ Put 20 Years of Experience On Your Side

Divorce FAQ

Counsel from a Batavia Divorce Lawyer

Have questions regarding the divorce process? The good news is that I am here to provide the informative answers you need to move forward. I can help you better understand the process, implications, and other factors you may be dealing with.

Check out our FAQ menu for quick navigation:

Don't see the question or answers you were looking for in this section? Feel free to give my firm a call today to schedule a consultation or fill out a free case evaluation with any questions.

How long will it take to get a divorce?

This can vary greatly, especially depending upon how amicable spouses are during the process. If you and your spouse or partner can both agree on all the details involved in the divorce, such as child custody, property division, and spousal support, things may move along much more quickly. Typically, it takes about one month to complete the paper work and secure a final court date. However, if some issues are a conflict between you, your divorce may have to be handled by the court. This means your divorce could take more than a year.


Will I receive child support from my ex-spouse?

Child support is often directly linked to child custody. If you have sole custody, you will likely get child support from your former spouse or partner. Even if you share joint custody, you may spend more time with your child/children, requiring additional financial support. In general, the court will carefully review the custody agreement and craft a child support plan that best fits the child's needs within that plan. How much support you receive will depend on your monthly income, your former spouse's income, and the overall financial needs of your child.


What are some alternatives to divorce?

If you are concerned about the repercussions of divorce and feel like you need an alternative option, legal separation may be the perfect solution. Though you will remain legally married to your spouse, legal separation allows you to take somewhat of a trial run of divorce or prepare for the divorce process down the road. It involves an actual formal court proceeding where the court will give you a decree for legal separation. This may be good for those seeking to separate their assets before a divorce.


I served my spouse with papers but they refuse to show up to court. What happens?

Even though your spouse is not present for the court process, the judge may still rule to terminate the marriage and set up custody orders and other judgments. This can only be done if your spouse has been properly served the divorce papers and made well-aware of any court dates. If not, the court may be restricted from dissolving the marriage and handling property and custody matters without their presence.


What does the court look at when determining child custody?

There are many factors the court must consider when determining child custody. As there are multiple types of custody, such as physical and legal, the court must decide which parent is best suited for each type. In some cases, one parent may be awarded legal custody, while the other is given physical custody. In other cases, they will share joint legal custody while one parent has sole physical custody. The court will look at things like a child's age, each parents' medical and mental history, employment of each spouse, housing situations, how rooted the child is in their community, and any occurrence of domestic violence or criminal activity. The court will also consider a child's wishes if they are old enough.


Will I have to pay spousal support during and after my divorce?

Similar to child support, spousal support is awarded on a case by case basis. The court will have to determine whether or not spousal support is needed for your spouse depending on a variety of factors. They may look at your spouse's employment status, their ability to work, how long you have been married, and if they gave up an educational or employment opportunities due to your marriage. They may choose to order you to give spousal support for a short time or ask you to provide for your former spouse for years after you have separated.

What is mediation and should I use this for my divorce?

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that can be used to help a couple avoid extensive court room litigation or conflicts. The couple can meet with an independent mediator who acts as a referee of sorts, not siding with either party, only helping them through the dissolution process. The mediation process can be used to settle one issue or the entire divorce settlement, depending on the couple's needs and preferences.


How will property be divided in a divorce?

Like many states, Illinois approaches property division with an equitable perspective. This, however, does not mean equal. Equitable refers to the fair division of property between spouses. That means that one spouse may receive less, especially if they did not contribute as much property during a marriage. The court will view property in two different categories: separate (non-marital) and marital. Marital property is anything obtained during the marriage and is eligible for equitable division. Separate is property that is brought into a marriage, that one spouse had prior to the union. It can also be property that was gifted to one spouse, such as an inheritance. Separate property is usually not subject to the division process.


What will happen to our debt if we get divorced?

In a divorce, debt is viewed just as any other property. The court will either categorize it as separate or marital, depending on whether spouses acquired it together or prior to marriage. Student loans obtained prior to marriage, for example, will likely not have to be the responsibility of a former spouse. Any marital debt, however, will be divided equitably between the couple.


How long do I have to live in Illinois to get a divorce here?

The state of Illinois requires that an individual or their spouse live in the state for the past 90 days before they will be able to file for divorce. If you or your spouse is in the military, you can claim residence in Illinois if you have been stationed here for the past 90 days. If you are expecting the court to make decisions regarding child custody or visitation matters, your children must have been in Illinois for at least the past 6 months. It is important to keep this in mind when pursuing a divorce in the state, especially if you and your spouse cannot resolve such matters.


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