It is important to find efficient and effective solutions to the issues involved in a divorce, while minimizing the stress it can cause for the entire family. Experienced legal representation can protect your rights and help you pursue your goals for the ultimate outcome of the divorce.
What issues arise for women in a Chicago or Bannockburn divorce?
Divorce may involve multiple issues that must be settled between the parties or decided by a family law judge. These issues include:
- Property division: In Illinois, marital assets are divided on an equitable distribution basis. This means the marital estate is divided fairly, but necessarily equally, between divorcing spouses. Courts consider several factors in determining how to divide property. These factors include the length of the marriage, the finances, occupation, and employability of each spouse, contributions made to the marital estate, any responsibilities from an earlier marriage, and who will have primary custody of the children.
- Parental responsibilities: Instead of sole or joint custody, Illinois courts now assign parental responsibilities and parenting time. Parental responsibilities refer to the authority to make decisions about important matters for the child, such as education, religious upbringing, and healthcare. The judge may allocate parental responsibilities to one parent alone, or to both parents.
- Parenting time: This is the time allocated to each parent to spend with the child. Under state law, a parent is entitled to reasonable parenting time unless the court determines that it would significantly impair the child’s emotional development or seriously endanger the child’s mental, physical, or moral health.
- Child support: Both parents have a responsibility to contribute financially to their children. Under Illinois law, children, not their parents, have the right to receive child support. For this reason, any agreement made between divorcing parents regarding child support must either follow state guidelines or be subject to the approval of the court.
- Spousal maintenance (alimony): The goal of spousal maintenance is to help maintain the financial situation of both spouses after divorce. It may be deemed appropriate if one spouse earns considerably more than the other. In determining alimony, judges consider the earning potential and need for support of each spouse, as well as the length of the marriage.
How long does spousal maintenance last?
If you are awarded spousal maintenance (alimony) in a Chicago or Chicagoland area divorce, how long the payments continue may depend on how long the marriage lasted. Duration of maintenance is based on a percentage of the duration of the marriage, which increases with the length of the marriage. For example, if the marriage only lasted four years, maintenance payments will continue for 20% of the length of the marriage, or 0.8 years. However, if the marriage lasted 19 years, the duration of alimony will be 80% of the length of the marriage, or 15.2 years.
Beermann LLP is an award-winning divorce and family law firm in Chicago and Bannockburn. Established more than 60 years ago and known for achieving superior outcomes in women’s divorce, we are the family law firm that cares.