FAQs About Illinois Divorce

Do I need an attorney?

While legally an attorney is not required to obtain a divorce in Illinois, an attorney is recommended. An attorney will make sure you are looking at every aspect of your divorce to look out for interests now as well as in the future. Valuations of property and calculations of child support need to be done correctly. If they are not accurately calculated, it can have a significant effect on your long-term picture.

What is the difference between uncontested and contested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties can agree to the terms of the divorce without having a court battle. A contested divorce is one in which the parties cannot agree on one or more of the issues in the divorce and they must go to court to resolve their differences.

What are the grounds for divorce in Illinois?

Recently many of Illinois family laws have changed. In 2016, Illinois will become a no-fault divorce state. The only grounds for divorce will be irreconcilable differences. Learn more about the changes to family law in Illinois.

What are the top mistakes people make in divorce?

There are several things people should not do when contemplating or while in the midst of a divorce. The top three mistakes people make are:

  1. Charging a lot of expenses — When emotions are high and you are hurting, it can be tempting to want to get back at your spouse by charging a lot of expenses. This can harm your bargaining position in a divorce and needlessly depletes the marital estate.
  2. Placing proceeds from an inheritance in a joint bank account — Inheritance assets are generally considered nonmarital in a divorce and that would preclude a spouse from having any access to them. However, when inheritance assets are placed in joint bank account with marital assets, to pay off mortgage or for some other reason, they lose their nonmarital status and become marital property. Inheritance proceeds should never be commingled with marital assets.
  3. Viewing your home as an asset — It can be hard to think about giving up the family home in a divorce, but it is important to understand that holding on too tightly to a family home could be a liability to you in a divorce. Everybody will need to live somewhere, but ultimately the only ones who benefit from keeping a house are your children when the property is inherited or sold.

How long does a divorce take?

Divorce is a challenging time and it is normal to want to get through it as quickly as possible. The length of time it takes depends on a number of factors, including whether you and your spouse can agree upon the terms of the divorce.

Do I need to be legally separated?

You do not need to be legally separated to be divorced. The law used to require you to be separated for two years to be divorced. Now, although it is not required, living apart for six months or longer can be used as evidence of irreconcilable differences to support your divorce.

Do You Have More Questions?

If you have questions about divorce, talk to divorce lawyer Van A. Schwab. For nearly 40 years, Van A. Schwab has been a trusted legal resource, guiding Chicagoans through the divorce process while protecting their interests. Schedule an appointment by calling 312-702-1745 or emailing our firm online.