Elmhurst Property Division Lawyer
Contact an Elmhurst Attorney Regarding Property Division or Spousal Support in an Illinois Divorce
For most people, divorce is a once- or twice-in-a-lifetime occurrence. When a marriage is breaking down, individuals facing divorce may reach out to friends and family members for advice. Each advice-giver speaks from his or her perspective and experience.
Perhaps for this reason, myths and misconceptions abound with regard to property division, a necessary component of a marital dissolution. People hear rumors that property must be divided on a 50-50 basis because Illinois is an equitable property state. In fact, each divorce has its own set of facts that figure into the determination of what is "equitable."
For example, if one spouse squandered marital assets on gambling or adulterous relationships after the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, the other spouse, who received no benefit from that money, is entitled to compensation for his or her portion of those assets in an equitable property settlement.
Spousal support or spousal maintenance is another area that brings questions and misconceptions to light. You may hear from friends or relatives that a marriage lasting 10 years or longer will trigger spousal maintenance.
In fact, the law does not set a specific length of time of marriage after which spousal maintenance for the dependent spouse is in order. In fact, there are many factors that a divorce court will consider in deciding whether spousal maintenance (alimony) is applicable, including the age of the parties, each one's ability to earn income, how much each contributed to the marriage financially and otherwise, differences in education levels, and any disabilities that may impede the dependent spouse's ability to support himself or herself.
You owe it to yourself to get the facts straight when divorce looms on your horizon. The sooner you talk to an experienced, knowledgeable attorney about property issues in your pending divorce, the better you can prepare to handle this aspect of the marital dissolution efficiently and reasonably. For example, you may need time to gather documentation of all your assets and income. A lawyer can guide you as you prepare to return to the single life.
Although marriage has many similarities with a business partnership, it is a much more personal bond, and emotional fallout is common when a marriage breaks down. Divorce is one of the most traumatic life events that most people go through. For this reason, a knowledgeable attorney who will watch out for your short-term and long-term best interests is a valuable asset and ally.
Contact the Law Offices of Laura M. Urbik Kern to schedule a consultation regarding property division and/or spousal support or spousal maintenance.