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5 Myths About Divorce in Illinois

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce lawyer, divorce myths, divorce agreement, divorce process, equitable division of propertyWhile that commonly-cited statistic that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce is not quite accurate (the actual number is difficult to determine, but it is estimated to be between 40 and 50 percent), most people have some experience with divorce, whether they have gone through divorce themselves, they are a child of divorced parents, or they have a close friend or family member who has divorced.

But even though divorce is an everyday part of American life, it is a somewhat distasteful subject, and this has let some myths about divorce to flourish. Consider the following common misconceptions about divorce of which spouses in Illinois will want to be aware:

  1. The mother will have primary custody of children - The idea that the kids will always stay with their mom, and dad will only see them every other weekend is somewhat old-fashioned, and Illinois law has provisions to ensure that parental responsibility and parenting time are allocated according to how involved each parent has been in their children’s lives, what the children want, and how well the parents can work together as they continue to raise their children following the divorce.

  1. All property will be divided 50/50 - Illinois follows a standard of equitable division of property, which is not necessarily the same thing as equal division. A divorce judge will weigh a number of factors to determine how to divide property as fairly as possible, including each spouse’s income, debts, and needs, whether one spouse will be paying spousal maintenance to the other, parenting time arrangements, and the tax consequences of property division.

  1. Unmarried couples have the same rights as married couples - While many couples live together for years and have the same relationship as married spouses without actually tying the knot, they do not have the same rights as married couples in Illinois when their relationship ends. Specifically, Illinois courts have found that unmarried couples do not have rights to maintenance (alimony) or to equitable division of property.

  1. One spouse is at fault - Illinois law only recognizes one ground for divorce: irreconcilable differences. This means that a couple’s relationship has broken down, attempts at reconciliation have failed, and further attempts to reconcile would not be in the best interests of the family. If spouses have been living separate and apart (even within the same house) for at least six months, there is an irrebuttable presumption of irreconcilable differences.

  1. Divorce can be completed quickly and inexpensively if one lawyer represents both spouses - A single attorney cannot legally represent both spouses in a divorce. In cases when spouses completely agree on every issue and simply want to finalize the paperwork, an attorney will only represent one spouse, and the other spouse will represent himself or herself. The spouse who is unrepresented should be very careful in these situations, since he or she may not fully understand his or her rights and the legal ramifications of the divorce agreement. Even if you believe you are not being taken advantage of, it is a good idea to have a legal representative who can review the agreement, explain everything that it contains, and advise you of your rights during and after the divorce has been finalized.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Attorney

If you are considering divorce or have already begun the divorce process, the family law attorneys of Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you understand the divorce laws in Illinois and protect your rights as you work to reach a favorable outcome. Contact a DuPage County divorce lawyer at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation.





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