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....