DuPage County, IL Divorce Attorneys

Facing an unexpected divorce can be daunting, but whether you’ve decided to move forward with your life or have been served divorce papers, it’s crucial to protect yourself. Even the most amicable couples can clash over asset division, spousal support, and child custody arrangements.

Enlisting the help of our dedicated DuPage County divorce lawyers at Abear Law Offices can be a vital step in safeguarding your future. Reach out to our family law attorneys for a confidential consultation today to learn more about the divorce process in St. Charles, your responsibilities in a divorce settlement, and the steps to take if your spouse refuses to sign the papers.

About Abear Law Offices

Abear Law Offices is a comprehensive family law firm serving clients across the Chicagoland area. We address a wide range of family-related issues, including divorce, child support, and child custody and visitation.

Are you seeking a divorce lawyer near St. Charles? We proudly assist clients throughout Kane County, DuPage County, and the broader Chicagoland region. Our mission is to protect the rights and interests of you and your loved ones. Whether you’re working to avoid inheriting an ex-partner’s debt post-divorce, claiming your rightful share of assets, or managing the legalities following the death of a parent or benefactor, you can count on us for expert guidance and representation.

Our team excels in asset valuation, discovery, and preservation. We are here to support you through any family law matter you encounter. Contact us now to schedule a consultation and speak with an attorney.

Abear Law Offices is dedicated to assisting individuals and families with divorce and family law issues in St. Charles, IL, and surrounding areas.

The Abear Law Offices Difference

Legal disputes within a family can be particularly challenging for everyone involved. Choosing the right family law attorney to represent you can make a significant difference in the outcome of your familial disputes, both legally and personally. We are committed to helping our clients navigate the legal system without disrupting their lives any more than is absolutely necessary. Here is how we make a difference in your divorce proceedings:

  • Personalized approach – We believe every client is unique. We also believe every case is unique. We are sensitive to the goals and needs of our clients. We apply a personalized approach to each case that we take on. We’ll provide you with counsel and strategies that are aimed at achieving the best outcome for your unique situation.
  • Our lawyers are dedicated to family law – We are a full-service family law firm that is fully dedicated to the practice of family law. Whether you’re fighting for custody of your children or filing for a divorce, you can rely on our team for guidance and representation. Family law is our specialty.
  • Client-first approach – We know how sensitive family law issues can be. We take a client-first approach that ensures we listen to our clients before taking any action. Our strategies are designed with the goals and needs of our clients in mind. We communicate with our clients at every stage of the process to ensure they are well-informed. We won’t take any action without your knowledge and approval.

The Layers of the Divorce Process

Divorcing your spouse is one of life’s more difficult challenges. Not only are there complex legal issues to resolve, but there are also difficult emotional issues involved. Having a divorce attorney who is skilled in navigating the world of family law is essential to getting through the process as easily as possible. At Abear Law Offices, our St. Charles, IL divorce lawyers work tirelessly to ensure that your divorce will be handled with skill, compassion, and efficiency.

Contested Vs. Uncontested Divorce

There are two primary types of divorce under Illinois law. If your spouse agrees to the divorce, it is known as an uncontested divorce. However, if your spouse refuses to agree to the divorce, you may need to go through what is known as a “contested divorce”.

In an uncontested divorce, you can work with your spouse throughout the divorce proceedings. You can have the same divorce attorney working for you, work together to draw up your divorce settlement, and file for divorce jointly. In a best-case scenario situation, your divorce could be finalized in as few as a couple of weeks, since there is no waiting period for uncontested divorces in Illinois.

Your spouse cannot prevent you from getting divorced. According to 750 ILCS 5/ Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, Illinois is not a fault-based state for divorce. Instead, it is a no-fault state, meaning you can cite irreconcilable differences as the reason your marriage is ending. However, if your spouse contests the divorce, it can make the process more drawn out.

If you cannot agree on any of the divorce terms, you may need to follow the six-month waiting period under 750 ILCS 5/401 to prove you are no longer interested in working out your marriage. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for one spouse’s unwillingness to negotiate to hold you back from getting your divorce finalized. Thankfully, after the waiting period, your case can go to trial where the judge presiding can determine how to separate your marital assets, award alimony, and arrange your child custody and support plans in the best interests of all involved parties.

Joint Simplified Divorce

If you are hoping to get divorced as quickly as possible, you may opt to go through a joint simplified divorce. This will only be possible if your spouse agrees to end your marriage. To qualify under 750 ILCS 5/451, either spouse must live in the state of Illinois for at least 90 days before filing for the joint simplified divorce. If you share children, you will need to wait until you have lived in IL for at least 180 days to file your joint simplified divorce petition.

Dividing Your Marital Estate

At Abear Law Offices, we represent clients in St. Charles, IL, and throughout Kane County and DuPage County in all aspects of the divorce and family law dispute resolution process. Some of the most common elements you will need to resolve as part of your divorce proceedings include:

  • Property Division – According to 750 ILCS 5/503, marital assets and debts in Illinois will be divided equitably per Illinois equitable distribution laws. Instead of dividing property equally, spouses will need to determine the fairest way to separate their marital estate.
  • Alimony – Also commonly referred to as spousal maintenance, under 750 ILCS 5/504, if one spouse earns significantly more than the other, spousal support can be ordered on a temporary or permanent basis.
  • Child Custody and Visitation Rights – It is important to work out whether you will share physical and legal custody of your children or if one parent will retain sole physical or legal custody while the other has visitation rights.
  • Child Support – Both parents are legally obligated to support their children financially. Using the “income shares” model, we can use the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Guidelines to determine how much child support could be awarded in your divorce settlement.

You May Need to Attend Mediation

Many divorce proceedings involve a significant amount of conflict and expense. Bitterness and discord often come with the territory in the dissolution of a marriage. That doesn’t have to be the case for every divorce, however. Where both parties can agree to an amicable negotiation process, mediation can save time, money, and hurt feelings. At Abear Law Offices, many of our divorce cases are handled through mediation rather than litigation.

Find a resolution to your case – It’s natural to feel stressed when dealing with a family law dispute. We’re here to bring calm during these tumultuous times. We are committed to assisting our clients in finding resolutions even in the most difficult situations. We will help you navigate these challenging times and provide you with the support you need.

DuPage County Divorce FAQ

What is the process for filing for divorce?

The process for filing your divorce petition can be intimidating. However, with the right divorce attorney in Saint Charles, IL handling your case, you can focus on rebuilding your life while we work out the legal details of your divorce settlement. First, if your spouse has not already filed for divorce, you need to make sure you meet the residency requirements to do so. If you do not have children, you must live in Illinois for at least 90 days, or 180 days if you do share children, before you can file for divorce in this state. Expect to pay a divorce petition filing fee, which is $75 according to the Kane County Circuit Clerk’s office, or up to $348 if you need to file your petition for the dissolution of your marriage in DuPage County according to the DuPage County Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Once your divorce petition has been filed, you will need to hire a process server to serve your spouse with the divorce papers. Next, you will need to try to work with your spouse to resolve the terms of your divorce settlement. It is always in your best interests to do so, otherwise, these decisions will need to be made by the judge when your case is sent to trial. If you and your spouse can come to an arrangement, our divorce attorneys can draw up the settlement terms and send it to the judge to be signed. However, if you cannot work together, your case will go to court and the judge presiding over your divorce proceedings will be responsible for deciding what is in the best interest of your family.

How long does a divorce typically take?

The entire divorce process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few years depending on the circumstances of your case. In uncontested divorces, the entire process could be settled in a couple of weeks. However, if your spouse is determined to make the divorce process take as long as possible, it could be a year or longer before your divorce is finalized.

What are the grounds for divorce in Illinois?

In Illinois, divorce is based on the concept of “irreconcilable differences.” As of January 1, 2016, Illinois law no longer requires specific grounds for divorce beyond irreconcilable differences. This means that the only basis needed for a divorce is that the marriage is irretrievably broken and that attempts at reconciliation have failed or would be impractical and not in the best interests of the family.

To establish irreconcilable differences, the following conditions must generally be met:

  1. Separation: The spouses must have lived separate and apart for at least six months prior to the entry of the judgment for dissolution of marriage. This six-month period creates a presumption that irreconcilable differences exist.
  2. No-fault: Neither spouse needs to prove wrongdoing by the other spouse.

Even though Illinois law has streamlined the process by focusing on irreconcilable differences, the court will still address issues related to property division, child custody and support, spousal support, and other relevant matters during the divorce proceedings.

What documents are needed to start a divorce?

When you are ready to initiate the dissolution of your marriage, there are certain forms and documents you will need to obtain copies of. These include:

  • Financial affidavits and bank statements
  • The petition for the dissolution of your marriage
  • Your proof of service (proof that your spouse was served with divorce papers)
  • Your spouse’s response to your divorce petition
  • Copies of your birth certificate

What factors are considered in determining child custody?

There are several factors the DuPage and Kane County family courts will take into consideration when determining child custody. Some of these factors include:

  • How involved both parents are
  • The child’s wishes if they are mature enough to voice them
  • Both parent’s income and expenses
  • How close the parents are with their children
  • How well-adjusted the children are to their community, home, or school
  • The children’s emotional and physical needs
  • What the parents are looking for in terms of a custody arrangement or parenting plan

Contact A DuPage County Lawyer for Help Today

Know your rights and speak to a highly experienced divorce attorney. Are you unsure what to do or how to approach your situation? Get in touch with our team at Abear Law Office now and book a consultation. Our St. Charles divorce attorneys offer a free consultation.

You can meet with our legal representatives, explain your situation, and learn what your options are. You are under no obligation to hire us; simply contact our office to request a 100% free consultation and learn more about how you can protect your rights throughout the divorce process.

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