When a marriage ends, different people experience different emotions. Some feel relief and joy that borders on euphoria. Others may deal with a profound sense of loss and regret that borders on depression. Many people are on both ends of this spectrum, at one time or another. On top of the emotional confusion, there are usually significant financial questions in both the short and long term. In sum, many people simply do not know what to expect next.
At The Law Office of Judith Jenz, we understand that your life is in turmoil. In addition to finding solutions for legal problems, we focus on building relationships with our clients. Attorney Judith Jenz is a strong advocate for your legal and financial interests in court, and is a trusted advisor that help you deal with some of the emotional fallout.
Types of Divorce
Illinois is a "no-fault" state. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a judge may grant a divorce if "irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and the court determines that efforts at reconciliation have failed or that future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family."
In order to proceed under irreconcilable difference, the spouses must have "lived separate and apart" for at least two years. The law does not require physical separation: many couples, especially those with children, may live together as roommates for an extended period of time. Moreover, anyone can file a petition at any time, but the judge cannot grant a divorce until the waiting period expires. The spouses can reduce the required separation period to six months, by agreement.
An evidence-based divorce may be a better option in some cases, primarily where there are special personal, family, or religious circumstances. Some grounds for divorce include:
- "Habitual drunkenness" or "excessive use of addictive drugs;"
- Desertion; and
- "Extreme and repeated physical or mental cruelty."
There are a number of defenses to these grounds. While the judge will not order the parties to remain married, the judge may affirmatively find that there was no impotency, cruelty, adultery, etc.
The divorce process may also require discussion of other issues, such as:
- Child Support;
- Child Custody;
- Child Visitation and Joint Parenting Agreements;
- Divorce Planning and Strategy; and
- Divisions of Assets, Property and Debt.
Issues in a Divorce
Typically, there is a preliminary hearing shortly after the petition is filed in order to address other issues that may come up in a while the divorce is pending, and the judge enters orders that apply until a final judgment is entered, or until they are modified. If there are family violence allegations, a judge may also enter a protective order at this stage.
A final divorce judgment can also be modified, in certain situations. In fact, especially if there are minor children, changed circumstances often make a decree unworkable, and a judge may alter custody and support provisions.
The Law Office of Judith Jenz will walk with you through each step of this process to to ensure a fair and equitable result. Contact Judith Jenz today at 630-202-8842 for a confidential consultation. Convenient payment plans are available.