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2/3 to 3/4 of divorces are initiated by women


Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce

Q: What is a legal divorce?

A: A divorce is the dissolution of a marriage. After divorce, both parties are free to remarry. During typical divorce proceedings, the couple's assets and debts will be divided and the care and custody of any children will be determined. Each state has its own distinct divorce laws.

Q: What are "fault divorce" and "no-fault divorce"?

A: In the past, divorce generally had only been granted on the basis of marital misconduct called "fault": adultery, mental cruelty or another wrongful act. There were also defenses to these faults. In these divorces, the spouse at fault often received a smaller portion of the marital settlement. In a no-fault divorce, the parties merely need to state that the marriage has broken down irretrievably or that the couple has irreconcilable differences. Every state has some form of no-fault divorce, but the particulars of the laws can differ markedly from state to state.

Goldstein Law Offices • Highland Park, Illinois
Your Strong Advocate in the Courtroom

The Goldstein Law Offices in Highland Park, Illinois, offers aggressive divorce representation to its North Shore clients. Attorney Arnold Goldstein is a strong advocate for all of his family law clients, and will make sure your goals are zealously pursued regardless of your legal needs. He can craft a prenuptial agreement that protects your premarital property. He will make sure any divorce settlement is fair. If there is a need to revisit the divorce settlement, he can represent you in any post-decree modification. Mr. Goldstein will help protect the best interests of your child in custody disputes and child support negotiations.

If you need an effective and experienced divorce attorney in Highland Park, Illinois, call 847.926.0300 to contact the Goldstein Law Offices.

Divorce Overview - The Basics

Contemplating divorce is difficult. Whether or not you are sure you want to end your marriage, it helps to learn the basics of divorce law. Should you conclude that divorce is necessary, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.

Grounds for Divorce

A divorce is a judicial decree by which a valid marriage is dissolved. From a legal standpoint, the divorce process will divide the couple’s assets and debts; determine the future care and custody of their children; and give each person the legal right to marry someone else.

Every state has some form of "no-fault divorce," but the laws vary a great deal from state to state. Generally, a divorce will be granted if one spouse states that the marriage has irretrievably broken down or the couple has irreconcilable differences. (Other residency and filing requirements must also be met.) This is different from the past, when only "fault divorces" were available. In a fault divorce, one spouse must allege a martial wrong like adultery or abuse in order to receive a divorce.

In some states, both fault and no-fault divorces are available. An experienced family law attorney can help you determine whether and how to pursue divorce.

Resolving Issues During Divorce

Before a divorce may be granted, five basic issues typically must be resolved. They are:

  • Alimony/spousal support
  • Property and debt division
  • Child custody
  • Visitation/parenting time
  • Child support

If the spouses can reach agreement on these issues, then the divorce is uncontested. If, however, the spouses cannot agree, the divorce is contested. The spouses may go to trial to resolve the issues. This usually means that a family court judge will make the final decisions. Alternatives to going to court include mediation, arbitration and collaborative divorce. Some courts may even order the spouses to attempt to resolve their differences through alternative dispute resolution:

  • Mediation. Mediation is an alternative to litigation that can be less expensive and less stressful for divorcing couples and their children. In the mediation process, the couple works with a trained mediator to reach agreement on contested issues.
  • Arbitration. Arbitration is more like court than mediation, but it can still be quicker and less expensive. Instead of using a judge to decide the outcome, the parties agree to use an arbitrator. Each spouse will have a separate attorney who will represent each spouse’s interests.
  • Collaborative Divorce. Collaborative law is a relatively new divorce process that requires an up-front commitment to resolving disputes by negotiation, compromise and agreement. If either side decides to go to court, both attorneys are disqualified from representing their clients in the courtroom. The spouses find new attorneys and go to court.

Alimony, Spousal Support and Maintenance

Alimony (also called spousal support or maintenance) is financial support that one spouse pays to another. The alimony can come in a lump sum, over a limited period of time or indefinitely. Because the laws vary from state to state, it is best to consult an attorney with questions about alimony. Factors that the court may consider in determining alimony include the length of the marriage and the ability of each spouse to earn a living.

Division of Property in Non-Community Property States

Courts in states that use the non-community property system typically make an equitable division of property between the divorcing spouses. Equitable means fair, rather than necessarily equal. The court makes the decision based on the circumstances of the divorce, the non-financial contributions to the marriage of each spouse and missed academic or career opportunities.

Conclusion

Making the decision to end a marriage is difficult. Even so, it is in your best interest to approach the divorce process from a rational, businesslike perspective. Working with an experienced family law attorney will help you get through the process and begin your new life.

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DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

The Goldstein Law Offices, in Highland Park, Illinois, is your strong advocate in divorce and family law legal matters throughout Chicago's North Shore, including the cities of Waukegan, Highland Park, Libertyville, Mundelein, Deerfield, Lake Forest, Skokie, Evanston, Winnetka, Glencoe, Buffalo Grove, Gurnee, Round Lake, Wilmette, Vernon Hills, Northbrook and Glenview.

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