Your Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Rockford, Illinois

Types of Divorce

Divorce, also known as a “dissolution of marriage,” is the legal process for ending a marriage, and generally there are four types of divorce. They are a divorce that:
  • Includes marital property and children.
  • Includes children but no marital property.
  • Does not include children but does include marital property.
  • Includes neither children nor marital property.

On occasion, there are also uncontested divorces in which parties have mutually agreed to all terms of the legal issues before filing for divorce.

Irreconcilable Differences

In Illinois, a petition for the dissolution of a marriage or a petition for divorce requires no stated reason other than “irreconcilable differences.” The use of that term means the parties involved do not have to state a reason for the divorce – such as adultery or abuse. They simply have differences that cannot be overcome, and the marriage has failed.

As practicing divorce attorneys in Rockford, IL and surrounding communities, we know that it is never easy to decide on divorce, but not having to prove anything other than “irreconcilable differences” makes the process less difficult.

Finally, it should be noted that any of the four types of divorce we have listed may include, but are not limited to, settlement of the following issues.

Marital Property

The division of marital property is one of the most important elements of a divorce. If you’re pursuing a divorce, we strongly suggest that you seek legal representation by experienced divorce lawyers, like the attorneys at Crosby & Crosby.

There is sometimes confusion over what constitutes marital property, but that confusion can be cleared up rather easily. Any property obtained by either party during the marriage is considered marital property, and that includes the following:

  • Savings or checking accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Real estate
  • Personal property
  • Vehicles
  • Businesses
  • Investments

Marital Debts

Some of the more common forms of marital debts include:

  • Joint credit cards
  • Mortgages
  • Joint civil judgments
  • Student loan debt
  • Car loans
  • Business debt

All of the items listed under both Marital Property and Marital Debts may be part of a divorce. Every case is different, and in a divorce property and debts may be divided in different ways. Consequently, it is essential to seek the advice and guidance of an experienced divorce attorney.

Parental Rights

The phrase “parental rights” encompasses a number of subjects including:

  • Primary custody/residential parent rights
  • Parenting time schedules
  • Holiday parenting schedules
  • Supervised visitation
  • Vacation schedules
  • Rights of first refusal
  • Grandparent’s rights

If the parties to the divorce cannot agree on these issues, the Court will normally order mediation as a means of settling outstanding questions. If mediation fails to bring about an agreement, the Court may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL). This is an attorney appointed to represent the best interest of the children who will make recommendations to the Court.

Parental Responsibilities

Parental Responsibilities are closely linked to Parental Rights and include things such as:

  • Child supervisors
  • Transportation for parenting exchanges
  • Exchange locations
  • Health care decision making
  • Academic decision making
  • Extra-curricular decision making
  • Co-parenting

These questions are often highly contested in divorce proceedings, and Parenting Factors generally play an important role in the decisions rendered by courts in Illinois. Decisions related to these issues may have repercussions throughout a child’s life, and it is absolutely essential to make sure they are handled with the utmost care and professionalism.

Spousal Support (AKA Maintenance or Alimony)

Spousal Support or Maintenance (formerly known as Alimony) is the payment made by one party in a divorce to the other, based on income and earning potential. When incomes are substantially different, the Courts will likely order that support payments be made by one party to the other.

Spousal Support can be awarded temporarily during the divorce proceedings, as well as long term or permanently in the final divorce judgment. The duration and amount of support varies with each case and is determined by Illinois statutes. In most cases, the determination is fairly simple: 33% of the payer’s net income – minus 25% of the recipient’s net income – equals the yearly maintenance to be paid.

Child Support

Child support, much like Spousal Support, is determined by a formula set by the Illinois legislature. The factors considered in making this determination include:

  • The number of children
  • The number of overnight stays the child has with each of the parties
  • The income of the parties
  • Other child support obligations of the parties involved
  • The health insurance provided for the children

As with other divorce terms, Child Support payments are subject to negotiation between the parties involved in the proceedings.

Child Expenses

Just as with Child Support, Child Expenses are the joint responsibility of both parties. Unlike Child Support and Spousal Support, Child Expenses are not determined by a legislative formula. Rather, they differ based on the needs and activities of the child. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Uncovered health care expenses
  • School enrollment
  • Extra-curricular expenses
  • Registration fees
  • Contributions to health insurance premiums

Health Insurance

Matters related to health insurance frequently come up during divorce proceedings. Millions of Americans secure their health insurance through their employer, and an essential fact to remember is that you do not have the right to remove your spouse from this coverage during divorce proceedings.

You must keep your spouse covered, and if you remove them and your spouse incurs substantial health costs, those debts may become your responsibility. Similarly, you should also keep your children covered during the divorce proceedings.

Rockford Divorce Lawyers

If you or someone you know needs a family law attorney, call the law office of Crosby & Crosby today. Our highly skilled team works with our clients to provide the knowledge and experience needed to build a successful legal strategy. We urge you to contact us to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about the legal services our team of expert attorneys can provide.

At Crosby & Crosby, You’re Never Alone

We want you to know that first and foremost, we’re here to help you succeed and protect what you value most.

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Questions? We Can Help!

Helpful questions about family law

How to choose the right divorce lawyer?

Choosing the right divorce lawyer, in our mind, comes down to three factors. First, is this lawyer going to be an aggressive advocate for me? Second, is this lawyer a person I can get along with personally? Third, do I trust this lawyer to communicate with me effectively? If you walk away from an initial consultation with a lawyer answering yes to those three questions, you have likely found the lawyer who is right for you.

Legal work can be extremely time consuming. Your expectations should not necessarily be that your lawyer is someone you can vent to about your personal life, as that would likely result in an unreasonably high bill. But you should expect your lawyer to keep you informed as to the status of your case. You should also expect your lawyer to listen to your wishes and concerns and use those thoughts as a basis for your case. You don’t need to talk to your lawyer everyday, but you should hear from them every other week or so.

Expect the unexpected when it comes to the Court dates. The Court system is based on a first-come-first-serve calendar, when the case is not filed as an emergency. All initial Court dates are determined by the Clerk of the Court, not of the lawyer or client. If you have a lawyer, expect the Judges to want your lawyer to do the talking, unless the Judge asks the client a question directly. You should also expect the Judge to keep the Courtroom as orderly as possible. Judges very much look down on people who speak out of turn. As for dress, the Court does not require a strict dress code, but it is always a good idea to dress professionally to show the Judge that you take the system and their Courtroom seriously.

There is a process in the law referred to as “discovery” that allows a party to a legal proceeding to discover information about the opposing party. In the context of a divorce, “discovery” is primarily used in the form of written questions and written requests for the opposing party to provide documents to the party that is doing the requesting. These are called “interrogatories” and “requests to produce.” During the process, the party answering the questions or requests must provide a written testimony, under oath, that the documents and answers are true and accurate. It is through this process of “discovery” that we are able to learn what assets a party possesses.

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