Common Mistakes To Avoid In An Illinois Divorce

The dissolution of a marriage is complicated, and in the state of Illinois, where specific laws govern the process, it can be particularly complex. From property division to spousal support and child custody arrangements, there are numerous factors to consider. As experienced Illinois divorce attorneys, we understand the common mistakes individuals can make during an Illinois divorce. By understanding these pitfalls and seeking the proper guidance, you can ensure a smoother and more favorable outcome as you work through this challenging time in your life.

Failure To Understand Equitable Distribution Laws

In Illinois, divorces follow the principle of “equitable distribution” when it comes to dividing up marital property. Equitable distribution means that assets acquired during the marriage are divided fairly, but not always equally, between spouses. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) outlines factors considered in property division, including each spouse’s contribution to the marital estate, the length of the marriage, and the financial circumstances of each party. Failure to understand these laws can lead to an unfair distribution of assets, leaving one party at a disadvantage.

Overlooking Financial Planning

Financial planning is crucial before, during, and after divorce proceedings. Yet, many individuals overlook this aspect, which can have long-term consequences. Gathering and organizing financial documents, such as tax returns, bank statements, and investment portfolios, is essential for equitable property division. Additionally, creating a post-divorce budget can help individuals manage their finances effectively and plan for the future.

Neglecting Spousal Maintenance Considerations

Spousal maintenance, also referred to as alimony, is another crucial aspect of divorce proceedings in Illinois. The court may award maintenance based on factors such as the income and earning capacity of each spouse, the standard of living established during the marriage, and the duration of the marriage. Having a comprehensive understanding of Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/504) and engaging in effective negotiation can substantially influence both the amount and duration of spousal support granted. Neglecting to address spousal maintenance considerations may lead to significant financial challenges for one party after the divorce is finalized.

Ignoring Child Custody And Support Matters

Child custody and support arrangements are paramount for divorcing couples with children. In Illinois, courts prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody and visitation schedules (750 ILCS 5/602). Additionally, child support calculations are based on factors such as each parent’s income, the child’s needs, and the parenting time arrangement (750 ILCS 5/505). Ignoring these matters or approaching them with hostility can lead to prolonged legal battles and emotional distress for all involved parties.

Underestimating The Importance Of Legal Representation

One of the most common mistakes in an Illinois divorce is underestimating the importance of legal representation. While it may be tempting to navigate the process alone, a skilled divorce attorney can provide invaluable guidance and advocacy. From negotiating settlements to representing clients in court, an experienced attorney can ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you achieve a fair outcome.

Divorcing in Illinois involves navigating a complex legal landscape, but avoiding common mistakes can help streamline the process and ensure a more favorable outcome. By understanding equitable distribution laws, addressing spousal maintenance considerations, prioritizing child custody and support matters, engaging in financial planning, and seeking competent legal representation, individuals can navigate their divorce with greater ease and confidence.

Call Our Chicago Divorce Attorneys For Dedicated Representation

Don’t let common mistakes derail your proceedings. Schedule your free phone consultation with our experienced Chicago divorce lawyer at Gordon & Perlut, LLC. Contact our Chicago divorce attorneys today at 847-329-0101 or 312-360-0250 to arrange your free phone consultation and take the first step towards a smoother divorce process.