Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan, P.C.
Schaumburg Family Law Attorney

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Divorce Law

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When choosing a family law attorney, you probably have a number of questions. Some of our most common questions are found here. If you do no see yours listed, please contact our office directly. We are happy to help!

Divorce Law

A common question from many people seeking a divorce is whether they need a specific reason for requesting the divorce.

Illinois Is a No-Fault State

Today, including Illinois, most states are known as “no-fault” states when it comes to divorce. This means that the reason generally cited is simply “irreconcilable differences,” and no other explanation is expected or needed by the court.

On January 1, 2016, Illinois became truly “no-fault” with the passage of Public Act 99-90, eliminating any kind of fault-based grounds for divorce.

Regardless of why you are requesting a divorce, it is a good idea to hire an attorney. Robert M. Kaplan is an experienced divorce lawyer in the Schaumburg area, and he can guide you through the divorce process.

Working with an Attorney During Divorce Proceedings Makes Sense

There are several reasons to work with an attorney during a divorce. The division of assets can be complicated, and an attorney’s advice can be invaluable. Child custody agreements can be confusing, and an attorney can help ensure the best for both parents and children.

Using a Schaumburg divorce attorney will help ensure your interests are protected during this emotional time. Having a lawyer can also reduce stress because mistakes are less likely to happen with a professional handling divorce paperwork.

Working with an attorney can also help make sure the divorce proceedings happen on time, and unnecessary delays do not drag the process out. Contact our Schaumburg law firm for a consultation.

If you are planning on or even considering filing for divorce, it is essential to decide whether your divorce should be filed as uncontested or contested.

How to Determine if an Uncontested Divorce Is the Right Step

Uncontested divorces can help streamline the divorce process for couples who qualify, but they are not the right fit for everyone. To help determine if filing an uncontested divorce is the best choice for you and your spouse, consider the following:

  • Are you and your spouse in agreement about wanting a divorce? It may sound simple, but the most critical question to ask yourself is if both parties are indeed in agreement about wanting a divorce. If one of you is not committed or has reservations, an uncontested divorce will not be successful
  • If you have children together, do you agree on how parenting time will be divided? One of the most common disagreements during divorces is how to divide parenting time. If you both agree beforehand, filing an uncontested divorce can save you considerable time that may otherwise be spent arguing
  • Have you and your spouse decided how to divide your assets? Along with parenting time, disputes regarding how to divide physical and financial assets are typically key problem areas in contested divorces. Parties of uncontested divorces know beforehand how joint assets will be handled
  • Are the elements of your divorce relatively straightforward? The simpler your overall situation is, the more likely it is an uncontested divorce is right for you

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Contact attorney Robert Kaplan to learn more about uncontested divorces in Hoffman Estates, IL. 

This depends on the cooperation of the parties and the complexity of the issues. If you both are willing to act freely disclose information without undue delay, then the process can go rather quickly, such as 45 days to 3 months. If your spouse chooses to be uncooperative and play games, or if there are complex assets to be valued, then a divorce can take in excess of a year. The new divorce statute (effective January 1, 2016) requires a parenting plan be entered within 120 days of the filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

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Do you have more questions about the divorce process in Cook County? Please contact our Schaumburg law firm for a consultation. 

This depends on a number of variables, including whether you have children, personal property to argue about, and the actions of your spouse. If you have children and cannot agree on a shared parenting agreement, it can be expensive. If you have personal property and cannot agree on its division, it can be expensive. If your spouse simply wishes to argue about everything, it can be expensive. However, the more items you and your spouse can agree upon, this will save you money.

Items That may Make a Divorce More Expensive

Other issues that may make your divorce more expensive include highly emotional variables such as children with health needs, if your spouse has a personality disorder, and if maintenance or alimony is at issue. However, with the proper lawyers on both sides of the equation, your divorce or legal separation can be amicable and reasonably priced.

If you are filing for divorce in the state of Illinois, you can expect to pay filing costs of anywhere from $200 to $350 to get the legal process rolling. The best advice is always to check with your Rolling Meadows, IL divorce attorney Robert M. Kaplan.

Joint Simplified Dissolution Procedure in Schaumburg

There are different types of divorce, and the least expensive is called a Joint Simplified Dissolution Procedure. Couples who make less than $60,000 combined gross income and who have not been married for more than eight years and have no children together might be eligible for this type of divorce.

Often couples who are filing jointly for separation can file at a lower fee if they agree on such items as maintenance (fka alimony) and child support and child custody* arrangements. It is worth noting that a divorce involving children will always be a bit more expensive than one in which no children are involved.

Couples might be able to avoid a court date altogether if they can agree in writing to a plan. If they cannot agree in writing, they might decide to jointly pay for mediation by hiring a lawyer who specializes in this.

With joint petitions, there will only be one filing fee. However, if you are filing for yourself, your spouse will need to be served a copy of the papers and there might be additional expenses for this.

If you decide you need to hire a divorce attorney, there will be additional costs for this beyond any court or filing fees.

*In the state of Illinois the term “child custody” and “visitation” are no longer formally used and are being replaced by “parenting time” and “parenting responsibilities”.

 

If your divorce decree states that your ex should be maintaining life insurance; you have every right to receive proof of that policy. If they refuse to show you it’s active, then you may have cause for filing a petition for rule to show cause, in which case they may be responsible for your attorney’s fees and costs incurred in filing the suit.

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Do you have more questions about life insurance policies after a divorce? Please contact our Schaumburg law firm for a consultation. 

In Illinois, divorce is referred to as “dissolution of marriage” and you and your spouse must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days.

How to File a No-Fault Divorce in Schaumburg

To file a no-fault divorce, essentially stating that you cannot get along anymore, you must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days and lived separately for a specific length of time, usually six months if you both agree on the no-fault divorce. 

Grounds for a Fault-Based Divorce

If you wish to file a fault-based divorce, Illinois recognizes a number of grounds for fault-based divorce:

  • Adultery
  • Bigamy
  • Giving the other a sexually transmitted disease
  • Attempted murder
  • Cruelty (physical or mental)
  • Felony conviction
  • Abandonment
  • Addiction to drugs
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Impotence

If you have no children and no assets, you will need to fill out the financial disclosures for the court anyway to determine debt division, if any, and for the court records. Once each party agrees to the accuracy of the disclosures and any division of debt or property, the magistrate will review and approve the financial division of property.

If you do not have children, you will not need to file any child custody-related paperwork.

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Even if you have no assets and no children, legal counsel is still important to ensure that you are receiving a fair settlement in your divorce. 

If you are considering getting a divorce in Schaumburg, you might have specific questions about how the process works or what to do if your spouse is uncooperative. The situation can feel especially challenging if your spouse refuses to sign your divorce papers. 

When your spouse doesn’t agree to a divorce or is unwilling to sign the initial papers, you can usually still file for a divorce, and the court will work with your situation. In most cases, judges do not require divorce papers to have signatures from both partners for the divorce to move forward. 

As the case proceeds, you are legally required to “serve” your spouse with copies of the divorce documents. You can choose to pay a private process server or private investigation company to serve the divorce documents, or you may want to reach out to the sheriff’s office for help. 

After receiving official copies of the divorce filing through proper service, your spouse will have a window of time where they’re required to respond to the divorce proceedings. 

Contact Our Schaumburg Office

The difficulty, length, and cost of the divorce process ultimately depend on your spouse’s cooperation and how your particular judge wants to handle the events. Having the help of a family law attorney can help you get through the proceedings more quickly and help you feel more at ease about the process. To schedule an initial consultation with our Rolling Meadows law office, call us today

A no-fault divorce means that either spouse can file for divorce without indicating fault. This type of divorce means that the marriage has become broken and reconciliation is impractical and not in the best interest of the family.

As of January 1, 2016, with the adoption of Public Act 99-90, Illinois became a no-fault state in terms of the divorce. Public Act 99-90 has eliminated any kind of fault-based reason for a divorce. No longer can either party state a reason such as an infidelity or cruelty as a reason for filing for divorce. The only reason now for a marriage that has broken up is because of “irreconcilable differences.”

Advantages of a No-Fault Divorce

There are advantages to no-fault divorce, including a lack of stigma as to why a couple is divorcing. Without public blame toward one spouse, negative feelings between the parties may be lessened. With a no-fault divorce, the spouse who files for divorce does not need to explain why the marriage has failed or provide any proof that it should end.

No-fault divorce often helps eliminate or lessen the bad feelings between spouses, since there is no blame for the divorce that is recorded publicly.

Contact Our Rolling Meadows Law Firm

For more information on no-fault divorce, contact Rolling Meadows divorce attorney Robert M. Kaplan.

This is a personal question that will vary from case to case. Legally, you can tell your spouse at any time that you want a divorce. Strategically, you may wish to consult with a lawyer and learn your rights before doing so.

Can I ask my spouse to pay my attorney fees?

Yes, Illinois has a statute that levels the economic playing field between you and your spouse. If your spouse has control of all of the income or assets of your marriage, they can be required to pay your attorney’s fees. They can also be called upon to contribute to your overall attorney’s fees at the conclusion of your case.

Does it matter that my husband or wife is cheating on me and now wants a divorce?

The fact that a party is having an affair does not bar their right to a divorce. It also does not bar them from seeking maintenance, alimony, or child support.

Contact Our Schaumburg Law Firm

Call Robert Kaplan if you have any questions on divorce proceedings and how they will affect you and your spouse.

When you and your spouse decide to get divorced, you have the option of filing either a contested or uncontested divorce. 

Because uncontested divorces require you and your partner to agree on all major aspects of your divorce, including how to divide your finances and your parenting time, judges see these filings less often than ones for traditional divorces. 

Items That Can Complicate a Divorce

Simply stated, an uncontested divorce is not a realistic option if both parties cannot reach an agreement on all major divorce-related issues. Divorces typically become more complicated when they involve 1) multiple children under the age of eighteen and 2) significant financial assets, especially if only one spouse has been working and providing for the family.

If you and your partner cannot agree on at least one of the following, uncontested divorce is probably not right for you:

  • How you intend to divide your physical property
  • How you intend to divide your debt 
  • Whether one party will pay alimony (spousal support), and the amount of alimony they will pay
  • Whether one party will pay child support
  • How you will divide the custody of your child(ren), if applicable

Contact Our Schaumburg Law Firm

Because divorces are such emotional matters, it’s normal for you and your partner to feel unable to reach a mutual agreement surrounding the specifics of your divorce. If you have questions about filing for an uncontested divorce in Schaumburg or need the advice of a seasoned family law attorney, we can help

A prenuptial agreement, or “prenup” for short, is an agreement executed before marriage to determine which party gets what if there is a divorce.

Even though you probably aren’t thinking about divorce right before you get married, if you get divorced down the line, having a prenuptial agreement can make a divorce go much more smoothly by determining the division of assets ahead of time.

Does a prenup mean you are planning for divorce?

Much as buying auto insurance doesn’t mean you are planning for an accident, a prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean you are planning for a divorce. What it does mean is planning for the unexpected. It is an opportunity for couples to create a document that outlines their financial goals and priorities. It means that couples are planning for their financial future.

Do you need a prenup if you are not wealthy? 

We hear a lot about celebrities and the super-rich having prenuptial agreements in place, but even if you do not have extensive assets, a prenuptial agreement can still be a good idea. 

Say you unexpectedly quit your job during your marriage to raise your children. A prenup can specify what kind of support you might be entitled to should a divorce happen. Or, say you supported your spouse while he or she went to college. You helped pay for tuition and student loans, which means there may be some repayment after a divorce. 

Rather than fight over the details in divorce court—costing you even more money in legal fees—you can state terms ahead of time in a prenuptial agreement.

Are Schaumburg prenups expensive? 

Most family law attorneys will charge by the hour for creating a prenuptial agreement, which means the costs will vary depending on each situation. However, the cost of drafting most prenuptial agreements in Schaumburg is typically much cheaper than divorce court.

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