Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce
Child Support and Family Law Attorneys in DuPage County
What are the grounds for divorce in Illinois?
Illinois is a pure "no-fault" divorce state, which means that a divorce can only be granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. Other reasons are no longer considered in a divorce filing.
Do I need to live in Illinois to get divorced in Illinois?
Not necessarily, but at least one of the spouses must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days before an Illinois court can grant the divorce. For example, if your marital home was in Illinois and your spouse has remained in Illinois, you could file for an Illinois divorce even if you now live in another state.
Do we need to live separately before getting divorced?
While it not uncommon for one spouse to move out of the marital home before divorce proceedings begin, Illinois law does not require a period of living separate and apart. If you and your spouse live separately for at least six months, however, the court will accept the separation as proof of irreconcilable differences, even if one spouse is opposed to the divorce.
Do I need a lawyer for my divorce?
While there is no Illinois law that requires you to hire an attorney, it is rarely a good idea to navigate the divorce process on your own. A qualified divorce lawyer can actually save you thousands of dollars or more by helping you to avoid mistakes and to fully exercise your rights.
Will I be required to pay spousal support?
Spousal support, also known as maintenance or alimony, is determined on a case-by-case basis in Illinois. When left to the court to decide, the court must consider many factors, including the age, employability, and health of each spouse, as well as the standard of living established throughout the marriage.
Will my spouse get half of everything during a divorce?
Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property must be divided fairly between the spouses, not necessarily equally. In determining what is fair, the court will look at a number of circumstantial factors, including each spouse’s contribution to the marital estate and the length of the marriage.
How long will it take for my divorce to be finalized?
Every divorce is unique and it is impossible to predict exactly how long the proceedings will take. Based on a preliminary review of your situation, your attorney may be able to provide an estimated timeframe, but things can change quickly. If you and your spouse have already done most of the negotiating, your divorce could be completed in just a few weeks. If you have many issues left to resolve, the process will last longer.
How much will it cost to get divorced?
There is no way to know for sure how much you will need to spend on your divorce, because the costs associated with the process depend entirely on your circumstances. If for example, you need to hire a forensic accountant or a real estate appraiser, you will obviously spend more than if the services of such professionals were not necessary. Your attorney can help you determine which expenses are reasonable and which ones could be reduced or eliminated.
Do I need to appear in court?
You will need to go to court at least one time before your divorce can be finalized. Depending on the circumstances, however, you could be required to appear more often.
What if I do not want a divorce?
While one spouse who "refuses to sign" divorce documents can certainly slow down the proceedings, a court can grant a divorce after a six-month period of the spouses living separate and apart. If the court has determined that the proceedings should continue and you refuse to participate in the process, you risk having a default judgment entered against you.
Where can I turn for help?
If you are considering a divorce or your spouse has already filed, contact Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices today. Call 630-932-9100 for a free consultation at any of our four convenient locations.