Five Important Areas You Must Address in Your Illinois Divorce Decree
Approaching divorce for the first time can feel intimidating. Not only is there a lot to do, but the outcome of every little detail has the potential to impact your future in a major way. Fortunately, many people before you have tackled divorce and come out the other side in one piece. And with the help of a great attorney, you can do the same. Here are five important areas you will need to address in your Illinois divorce.
Property and Debt Division
All marital property and debt must be divided between spouses before a divorce can be finalized. Generally speaking, everything that was acquired by either spouse - including income, purchases, and credit card debt - will be considered marital property and must be divided equitably. Illinois is not a community property state, so the focus on dividing debt will be fairness rather than sameness.
While many marriages do not include spousal support as part of their negotiations, many do. A general rule of thumb is that the longer you were married and the more dependent one spouse was on the other financially, the more likely it is that spousal support will be a part of the picture. It is important to understand that Illinois courts prefer spouses to negotiate their own divorce decrees whenever possible, so, for example, if you want to trade spousal support for another marital asset and your spouse agrees, a court is likely to approve your settlement.
Parents with children under 18 - and in some cases with children older than 18 - will need to establish child support payments. While the parent who earns more money and has less parenting time is generally the parent who pays, Illinois calculates child support using the “Income Shares” model. This means both parents’ incomes are included when calculating child support and sometimes child support may not be always appropriate or necessary.
“Parenting time” is the legal term used in Illinois for a concept formerly known as “visitation.” Your parenting time schedule will describe in great detail how you and your spouse will divide spending time with your children over a calendar year. This includes pick-up and drop-off plans, holiday schedules, and whether you need to call each other for childcare when you need to be out of town or are otherwise busy.
“Parental responsibilities” is the legal term Illinois uses for “custody.” It describes the decision-making authority each parent has on behalf of their child. Parental responsibilities cover four main categories: Healthcare, religious upbringing, education, and extracurricular activities. Parents may share parental responsibilities or allocate certain responsibilities to one parent. Again, parents are encouraged to include all these details in a parenting plan that they create themselves.
Meet with a Batavia, IL Divorce Attorney
Our skilled Kane County divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Van A. Larson, P.C. can walk you through every step of your divorce. From the very beginning stages to signing the final decree, we have the information and experience you need to ensure you get a fair settlement that accommodates your unique situation. If you are considering divorce and want more information, schedule a free consultation over the phone or in our offices. Call us now at 630-879-9090.