Illinois Divorce Tips for New Beginnings in the New Year

Wheaton Family Law Attorneys

January marks a new beginning for all of us: new year, new goals, new life. On the flip side, January is also historically the month where the most divorces are filed. Some people know they need to start their new year by making a change in the family dynamic, a decision that makes the divorce rates spike by up to one-third in the first month of the new year. While this could be attributed to any number of things, families with children are likely to try to get through the holidays before making any final decisions about divorce for the sake of their children. The holidays can also cause emotional and financial stress that can lead to the breaking point for couples that were already on edge.

Contributing Factors and the Decision to File for Divorce

Divorce is something that families need to consider as seriously as the decision to get married in the first place. Marriage is a legal status that makes your lives intertwined in many respects, whether it be financially, with children, or with responsibilities around the house. Once a couple decides they can no longer stay married, the decision will affect their children and extended families.

Besides the obvious emotional energy it takes for a couple to decide to end a long-term relationship, there are other practical considerations as well, such as money. Should you hire a divorce lawyer? Will you be able to amicably resolve alimony or child support issues? What about your retirement fund? The vast majority of financial benefits you received while married became “marital property,” even if the money or asset was only issued in one spouse’s name. Anything that is determined to be marital property means that both spouses have a stake and therefore a right to partake in the division of the assets upon divorce. The legal parameters dictating divorce proceedings can be found in the Illinois Code under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The Act explains the rights and responsibilities of the parties to a divorce and explains the lawful grounds for filing for divorce.

Tips for Starting a New Life

Once you actually make the decision to go through with the divorce, this can be a very emotionally and financially turbulent time. If you have children, it may be difficult for them to adjust to a new living situation, and you may face loneliness without a full house. The best thing to do is to try to maintain your normal schedule as much as possible. If you and your daughter went to the fair together every year, try to make it happen this time around. If you take a vacation with friends every summer, go this year even if you do not think you feel like it. Being a part of something outside of your marriage will help you cope with the big changes you will be facing, especially at the beginning of the divorce.

Many couples are able to maintain amicable relationships after a divorce, even if just for the benefit of marital children. In the event that you have court-governed visitation, custody, and support orders, make sure to remain in compliance at all times. Staying on track with the legal implications of the divorce will avoid future litigation and give you more time to be on a path toward wellness. This is sound advice when couples are not able to amicably move past their divorce; the desire to avoid litigation is even greater in these situations.

DuPage County Divorce Lawyers

The decision to get divorced, like the decision to get married, will have lasting implications on you and your family’s life. Understanding what your rights and responsibilities are and will be in the future is critical in being able to move forward with your life post-divorce. Once you decide that divorce is the step you want to take, there are many logistical considerations. Even if you were married in another state, you can still have your divorce finalized in Illinois so long as you have been a resident for at least 90 days. Alternatively, if you are still unsure about divorce, Illinois offers the possibility of legal separation, which permits you and your spouse to live separately for a certain time but still leave your legal benefits in tact.

Regardless of the point you are presently at, if you are considering divorce or legal separation, it is critical to understand your rights. Our experienced Wheaton divorce lawyers know how to work with you to protect your future finances, resolve your custody concerns, and make the process as quick and painless as possible. At Abear Law Offices, our knowledgeable team of attorneys will work with you to ensure you understand what is going on and have a say every step of the way. We will consider your future, your children’s future, and work with your spouse or your spouse’s counsel to come to the most amicable resolution. Contact us at one of our five convenient Illinois locations today.

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