The Chicago Family Law Blog

Divorce in Chicago

Divorce is the more common term for the legal dissolution of a marriage. While some states require fault by one of the spouses, adultery for example, Illinois is a “no fault” divorce state. This means the divorcing parties may claim irreconcilable differences as the legal grounds. The state will grant a divorce on such grounds if the spouses have lived apart for at least two years, which can be reduced to six months under certain circumstances. Divorce involves the separation of marital property, custody and financial support of children (if applicable) and alimony.

It is possible to get a divorce without representation of a divorce attorney in Chicago, but is only advised in those rare instances where both spouses are in complete agreement over the terms. The stakes are extremely high, particularly where children are concerned or where one spouse becomes financially vulnerable after the divorce. For more information about Chicago area divorce, see:

Recently in Divorce Category

Gay Divorces: A New Take on an Old Problem

With figure skater Johnny Weir and his soon-to-be ex-husband, Victor Voronov's, divorce making headlines, gay divorces are quickly becoming a topic of conversation.

Allegedly, the marriage fell apart when Weir was accused of cheating and having sex with a Chicago club owner, according to The Huffington Post.

While gay marriage in Illinois may be relatively new, divorces in the gay community aren't.

5 Ways Divorce Mediation Can Keep You Out of Court

A growing number of couples are turning to divorce mediation before heading to court in an effort to save time and money in an otherwise expensive divorce process.

If the mediation process works, then you're all set. If it doesn't, you can still go back to court to resolve any outstanding issues.

Here are five issues that can be decided ahead of time in a successful mediation:

Best Arguments to Overcome a Prenuptial Agreement

There is no such thing as "ironclad" in the family law world. And this includes purportedly "ironclad" prenuptial agreements. With the help of a good Chicago family law attorney, you can potentially overcome and invalidate even the most detailed prenup.

A prenuptial agreement is generally a contract. And like all contracts, the prenuptial agreement needs to meet certain requirements to be valid and enforceable.

Some of the best arguments that can potentially overcome a prenuptial agreement include the following:

Considering Divorce? Think About Legal Separation

Marriages end for a variety of reasons, and when they do most people immediately think about divorce. But there's also the option of a legal separation.

By legal separation we don't mean the idea of taking some time apart to see how things go. That's what most couples do before they actually file for divorce.

A legal separation is a more permanent arrangement. It's what happens when people decide the romance in their marriage is over, but have reasons for not wanting a divorce. What reasons are there for staying legally married when you don't want to be together?

Divorce Decisions: Fault or No Fault?

When it comes to divorce there can be a lot of blaming and finger-pointing. The law has a phrase for that too. It’s called fault divorce, but there’s also a no fault option. When people get divorced they can choose between them.

Of course, it doesn’t really apply to where you put personal blame for the divorce.

No-fault divorce is a misleading name, but it’s an important concept. Without it, people would have a much more difficult time ending a bad marriage.

How to Avoid Divorce Disasters

Divorce is never easy but when things go wrong, it can quickly spiral into a full-blown disaster. Figuring out whether divorce is the right choice for you, and then figuring out what to do next, can be complicated.

The soul searching is something you have to do for yourself. Once you've made your choice, we can help you deal with the process.

The emotional part is hard enough and the legal process for a divorce isn't what you'd call simple. But there are ways to make it easier on yourself.

Should You Consider Mediation Instead of Divorce Court?

There's no escaping that divorce is a legal process. But you might want to consider mediation as an alternative to the courtroom drama that many people reluctantly face.

It doesn't matter how friendly you and your ex are going into the process; court proceedings have a way of making bad situations more tense for everyone involved. It's not called the adversarial system for nothing, and by the end you might feel like enemies.

That's not a good situation for people who have to continue to see each other because of children or other shared obligations. So is mediation the right choice for you?

Helping Kids Cope With Divorce? Try Sesame Street and These Tips

Death. Incarceration. Race. Sesame Street has never shied away from the tough issues. One issue they haven’t addressed, however, is divorce.

According to Time, they tried once before. In that quickly shelved segment, Snuffleupagus, a.k.a. Snuffy, discussed his parents’ impending divorce between sniffles to Big Bird. Daddy was moving out the cave because of something called a divorce. Big Bird and Snuffy were confused. The toddlers that made up the focus group were traumatized, and asked if their parents were going to get divorced as well.


The Worst Idea Ever? A Consource

Divorce can be a very expensive proposition. Two lawyers, court fees, a new residence, moving costs, and various other expenses mean that for many, it's going to dramatically damage your financial situation, if not outright destroy it. It will also dramatically disrupt the lives of your children.

What's the solution? Dr. Keith Ablow suggests to Fox News that couples consider a "consource" instead. What is this newfangled solution? It's cohabitation for formerly married couples. In short, you end the romantic part of your marriage while sustaining the platonic friendship, household, and possibly even the marital bedroom (without the hanky-panky) for the sake of the children. Saving money is an added bonus.

Writing in Your Diary Post-Divorce Might be Bad for You

Dear Diary,

My ex is SUCH a P.I.G. PIG! Yeah, we broke up like three years ago, but she is totally dating a younger man right now. What is this, cougar town? What is wrong with me? Why was I not good enough? Ughhhh, I'm totes gonna have a bottle of white zinfandel tonight.

Sincerely, Me

Traditional wisdom says that writing about one's feelings helps them to deal with those feelings. This has led to many therapists recommending that the recently divorced keep a journal or diary. However, according to a study recently completed by a professor at the University of Arizona, that's probably a bad idea for some people, reports the Science Codex.