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DuPage County divorce attorneyNo one deserves to be abused by their spouse. No matter what has happened between you and your spouse, there is never any excuse for your spouse to abuse you. Spousal abuse can take many forms. While domestic violence is the classic form of abuse, there are other ways one spouse might abuse the other. Financial abuse, where one spouse controls all the assets to keep the other dependent is also common. Psychological or emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical violence. Excessive control is also abuse. For example, if your spouse does not “let you” do things like seeing your friends or forces you to live by their rules, that is also abuse.

Seeking a divorce from an abusive marriage takes a lot of courage. Leaving an abusive marriage is not without risks, however. If you need help getting out of an abusive marriage, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices will do everything in our power to keep you protected during this time.

Tips for Making a Safe Exit From Your Abusive Marriage

Your safety and the safety of any children involved is always the top priority. While getting out of an abusive marriage can be scary, it is always worth it. Here are a few tips that may help:


Illinois family law attorneyMost spouses going through a divorce are able to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation through the use of methods like mediation, attorney-facilitated negotiation, or collaborative divorce. Alternative dispute resolution tends to work very well when the divorce is amicable, but it can also work for spouses who are not getting along. It is possible for spouses to settle their divorce out of court without even needing to be in the same room. These alternative routes to divorce have become popular because they can speed up the divorce process, save both parties money, and lessen the impact of any conflict for children of the marriage. However, there are times when these types of methods simply do not work. If you have any concerns about whether litigation might be necessary in your case, let your attorney know so they can plan accordingly.

3 Reasons Alternative Divorce Might Not Work for You

A lot of people are initially leery about whether an alternative path to divorce will work for them. These methods require both spouses to participate in good faith. You will need to consider whether your spouse is truly the type of person who cannot be reasoned with, or whether you are simply in conflict with them at this time. Even if there are a lot of hurt feelings involved, mediation or negotiation may still be workable options. However, your attorney may suggest that you not even attempt these methods in cases like:

  • Missing spouse - If your spouse simply walked out on you and you are not able to easily locate them, it is not likely that they will respond to your attempts to summon them for mediation. Do not worry - a judge can still grant you your divorce whether your spouse turns up or not.
  • Serious abuse - Abusers are not well-known for their ability to calmly sit down and reach a fair compromise. You may be better off planning to take them to court from the start. This may be especially true if your children are victims as well and your spouse insists on pursuing custody.
  • Addiction or mental illness - One spouse’s drug addiction, alcohol abuse, or mental illness often prompts the other to seek a divorce. It can be extraordinarily difficult to get someone who is frequently intoxicated or suffering from a severe mental illness to show up for mediation or respond to their attorney’s phone calls so that meaningful negotiations can take place.

It is important to discuss all your options with an experienced attorney.


Lombard divorce lawyerDivorce is never a walk in the park. However, it does not have to be the dramatic legal battle depicted in television and movies either. Alternative resolution methods offer couples the option of ending the marriage amicably, without the need for traditional litigation. If your divorce case is complex, but you and your spouse want to end your marriage cooperatively, collaborative divorce may be your best option.

The Basics of Divorce Using Collaborative Law

Collaborative divorce is a process through which a divorcing couple works together to resolve divorce issues, including property and debt division, child custody, and spousal maintenance. The spouses do not work against each other, but instead, negotiate divorce issues to reach mutually-agreeable solutions. Each spouse is represented by an attorney who provides legal guidance and advocates on behalf of his or her client during the collaborative process.

A key aspect of the collaborative divorce process is the collaborative team. The spouses and their attorneys may work with one or more professionals who provide additional insight into the advantages and disadvantages of various solutions. For example, if the couple owned multiple rental or vacation properties, they may work with a real estate appraiser who can accurately value the properties and help the couple decide the best way to account for the properties during asset division. If the couple shares a child, they may ask a child specialist to join their collaborative team. The child specialist can help the parents understand the ways various child custody arrangements may affect the child’s wellbeing and assist with developing a strong parenting plan. Couples with complex financial portfolios may work with a financial advisor or accountant. Psychologists, divorce coaches, and many other types of professionals may also be useful during the collaborative divorce process.


Naperville divorce lawyerGoing through a divorce can be a stressful and emotional time. In addition to the lasting impact on your family life, there can be many practical decisions about finances, property, and other assets that have to be made. However, if you have very few assets and meet other qualifying factors, you may be eligible for a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage under Illinois Law. This is a quicker and less costly process, but it comes with strict requirements and neither party may seek any spousal maintenance during the process or after the divorce is finalized. An experienced divorce attorney can help determine if this approach fits your situation.

Qualifications for a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

The strict qualifications for following this process are spelled out in Illinois law:

  • Both spouses must be residents of the state of Illinois.
  • Your marriage must not have lasted more than eight years.
  • You and your spouse did not have any children during the marriage, did not adopt any children together, and no child is expected.
  • The divorce is not contested by either party and you have met the requirements for a no-fault divorce, based on irreconcilable differences
  • Your joint, gross income must be no greater than $60,000 annually, with neither spouse making more than $30,000 in annual gross income.
  • Neither spouse may own any real estate.
  • The total gross value of all of your joint marital assets, including bank accounts, cars, and other assets must be no greater than $50,000.
  • The couple must have a written agreement on how they are going to divide the assets that they do have and the responsibility for their debt and liabilities.

Given the narrow requirements that must be met and the restrictions on the outcome of the process, few divorcing couples are eligible or choose to pursue this route. However, it can be helpful for those who do qualify and provide a quick solution to ending their marriage.


Naperville family law attorneyIf you are considering a divorce and have children, you know you will face a series of difficult choices. Decisions must be made on living arrangements, custody rights, child support payments, and other difficult decisions. If you and your spouse are willing to cooperate, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is one tool available to you which can avoid the traditional divorce litigation process and risk leaving the final decision on these matters to a court. Besides addressing the division of marital assets, ADR can be used to determine parental responsibilities, parenting time, child support, and spousal support payments. An experienced family law attorney will be able to guide you through this process to a successful outcome.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

ADR relies on civil communication between divorcing spouses. In the right circumstances, it can be a quicker, more economical, and less confrontational solution for a divorce. This can be especially important to divorcing parents when children are involved.

The four most common types of family law ADR in Illinois are:

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