Chicago, IL- The thought of divorce is intimidating and you probably don’t have any idea where to begin. You are likely aware that it isn’t going to be easy but really don’t know what to do. Considering the practical and emotional difficulties of divorce, it is helpful to you if you know the basics of filing for divorce. USAttorneys urges you consult with an attorney to explain the entire divorce process.

Grounds for divorce in Illinois are fault and no-fault. A no-fault divorce is the most common filing and is appropriate when both spouses agree to the divorce based on irreconcilable differences. Illinois law requires a couple be separated for at least two years unless both spouses agree to sign a divorce waiver. In that case a couple only has to wait six months before filing for divorce.

Fault divorce is different and is usually a longer process. A fault divorce occurs when one spouse objects to the dissolution or refuses to sign a waiver. The grounds for a fault divorce include: adultery, bigamy, desertion, felony conviction, impotence and physical abuse. In some cases a couple may be required to attend counseling. Or, a divorce impact and education course if they have children.

To file for divorce in Illinois at least one of the spouses must be able to demonstrate that they have lived in the state for at least six months.

Couples who file for no-fault divorce must be able to show that they have lived been separated for at least two years. For legal purposes, separated means living apart. If a couple has been living separately for at least six months before the final judgement is issued, they can sign a waiver for the two year separation requirement.

Illinois is an equitable division state so property will be divided between both spouses as fairly as possibly. A court will look at certain factors when determining how to divide a couple’s assets. Those factors include: length of the marriage, the value of the property being divided and the financial circumstances of each spouse. If either of the parties brought any assets into the marriage, it will remain their property after the divorce.

A divorce settlement in Illinois can include spousal support if it is necessary to maintain a spouse’s and their child’s standard of living. The final divorce settlement is not affected whether a couple filed for a fault or no-fault divorce.

When it comes to child custody, Illinois, like most, states consider the best interest of a child when deciding to honor a spouse’s child custody request. Family court can also resolve issues of visitation and living arrangements and other areas that couple cannot come to agreement on.

Those are just a few of the basics of filing for divorce in Illinois. There are many aspects to divorce that you could use help with. Our team of divorce lawyers in Chicago will guide you through the stages of your divorce, so your transition goes smoothly and your divorce settlement is fair.