Family Law Attorneys For Divorce And Legal Separation In Downers Grove
Marriage is meant to be a lifelong partnership in which spouses combine nearly every aspect of their lives, including their property and their finances, often while working together to raise their children. When a marriage breaks down, and it looks like divorce is inevitable, couples may struggle to determine how to separate the parts of their lives that have become closely intertwined. If you are considering divorce, you will want to work with a skilled family law attorney to understand your options, including determining whether legal separation may be preferable to permanently ending your marriage.
At SBK Law Group, we understand the difficulties involved in the divorce process, and we believe in educating our clients about their rights and the options available. Our attorneys have over 25 years of combined experience, and we will offer legal advice about the best ways to resolve your legal issues while providing you with dedicated representation throughout the divorce process.
Legal Issues To Address During Divorce
When you get divorced, this will legally dissolve your marriage, and you and your ex-spouse will no longer be united in a legal partnership. To complete the divorce process, you will need to resolve all of the issues involved in ending this partnership.
You may be able to work together to cooperatively resolve divorce issues, either by negotiating a settlement with the assistance of your respective attorneys or by using mediation. However, if you cannot reach an agreement on some or all of the outstanding issues, you may need to resolve these matters through litigation. The issues that you may need to address during the divorce process include:
- Property division – All of the marital property you and your spouse own together, including physical property, financial assets and debts, must be divided fairly and equitably between the two of you.
- Spousal support – One spouse may need financial support in order to meet their needs following divorce, especially if they are a stay-at-home parent or earn a much lower income. If spousal maintenance is awarded, it will be based on the actual amount of income each party earns, and the length of payment may vary based upon the length of marriage.
- Child custody/allocation of parental responsibilities – Divorcing parents will need to determine how they will work together to make decisions about child-related issues such as education, health care, religion, and extracurricular activities. They will also need to determine a schedule for the parenting time children will spend in each parent’s home and how holidays will be divided.
- Child support – Both parents are obligated to provide financial support to meet children’s daily needs and cover certain child-related expenses. Child support is based on the parents’ incomes and, in some cases, on the amount of time children will spend with each parent.
Once your divorce is complete, a divorce decree or judgment will be issued, and both you and your ex-spouse will be required to follow its terms. However, if your circumstances change in the years following the end of your marriage, you may be able to ask for a post-divorce modification. Circumstances could include changes in jobs or income level of either spouse, or in the medical or educational needs of the child(ren).
Should We Consider Legal Separation?
If you are not yet ready to legally end your marriage, you may want to consider separating from your spouse on either a temporary or permanent basis. You can petition for a legal separation, which is similar to filing for divorce. This will allow you to make decisions about how issues such as property division, child custody, and spousal support will be handled during the separation, but you and your spouse will remain legally married.
If either of you decides to pursue divorce at some point, many of the decisions in your separation agreement can be incorporated into your divorce settlement, and this may allow you to avoid some of the conflict involved in the divorce process.
Contact A Downers Grove Divorce Attorney
Whether you are preparing for divorce or have already begun the divorce process, you need an experienced and dedicated divorce lawyer on your side. Our attorneys can answer your questions, help you understand your rights and requirements, and work with you to complete your divorce successfully.