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What can I expect from an Illinois divorce?

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Divorce can be both an emotionally draining and legally complicated situation for spouses. The process is generally more difficult for couples with large assets to divide and is also more complex when children are involved. Courts in Illinois use certain standards to keep divorce proceedings as short and as fair as possible.

Standards help spouses prepare assets and property to be shared between each other, as well as clarifying rights and obligations towards children. Some are commonly known and used, while other situations are less likely with rules more rarely known. These situations recommend legal representation during divorce for spouses to ensure all areas are covered.

  • What is the most important rule about property?

Illinois favors the principle of "equitable distribution" for any money, real estate, retirement accounts, benefits and other assets subject to divorce. Different than "equal," "equitable" means that judges and mediators will try to find out what people should receive based on the work put into resources or any preexisting ownership before marriage.

  • How does a divorce proceeding affect children?

If both spouses can agree on custody and support arrangements, the court will usually approve those plans. This may change if the court believes a different arrangement would better serve the best interest of the child.

  • What are less likely divorce scenarios?

A spouse may request an Order of Protection if he or she is the victim of domestic abuse or violence. This order may be helpful in keeping a home safe from an unpredictable element. The court may also hold a person in contempt if he or she has not complied with an agreed or court-ordered divorce plan.

Source: Illinois State Bar Association, "Your Guide to Getting a Divorce in Illinois," accessed April 06, 2018

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