No one needs to tell you that divorce is emotional, complicated and possibly the most difficult thing you will ever go through. Occasionally it will feel like the process will never be over.
The good news is there are only four main issues that are imperative to resolve in order to finalize your divorce.
Illinois follows an equitable distribution law. The law divides property fairly, but not necessarily equally, between spouses. They will consider several factors:
- Prenuptial agreements
- Each spouse’s age, health, vocational skills, employability and debts
- The length of the marriage and potential spousal support
- The spousal home and any children who live there
Parental responsibilities and parenting time
Formerly called custody in Illinois, parental responsibilities and parenting time are likely the most important factor to divorcing couples who share children. Parental responsibility will determine whether one or both parents will make decisions about the children’s religious upbringing, healthcare, education and extracurricular activities.
The law encourages parents to cooperate in these matters, but If parents cannot agree on how to share time and responsibility the court will make decisions for them.
Since 2018, Illinois employs an income shares model to determine child support. Illinois’ income shares model considers the incomes of both parents and estimates much the parents would have spent on their children if they shared finances, in order to determine support.
Temporary alimony is often awarded during a pending case. When the divorce is final, the court may order one spouse to permanently support the other, usually when a spouse is unable to self-support after divorce.
Once you resolve these four important issues a divorce is well on the way to settlement.