Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is there a difference between divorce and dissolution of marriage?

A: Not really. Depending upon the terminology used in various state laws divorce and dissolution of marriage judgment serve to terminate a marriage and revert each spouse to their legal status prior to the marriage. A divorce or dissolution of marriage judgment will further divide assets and liabilities of the marriage and determine custody along with related issues of any minor children.

Q: Can I secure more property and/or support if I can demonstrate that my spouse has committed adultery?

A: Illinois law provides that property is to be divided and spousal support considered without regard to marital misconduct. Accordingly, a spouse is not disqualified from receiving support solely on the basis of marital infidelity. In addition, a spouse is not entitled to a lesser share of the marital estate solely on the basis of his/her adultery. However, it is important to note that a spouse cannot receive maintenance (formerly known as alimony) if he/she is residing with another on a “constant, conjugal basis”. Furthermore, property dissipated in connection with an extra-marital tryst is frequently credited to the marital estate for purposes of distributing marital property.

Q: Is mediation mandatory in Illinois divorce cases?

A:Most of the time, yes; but only in relation to child related issues (i.e. custody and visitation). Most local court rules require the parties to attempt to resolve their parental issues via mediation absent having been excused for cause most frequently resultant form mental health or domestic abuse issues in the case.

Q: How is custody determined in Illinois?

A: Illinois law requires the court act in the best interests of the child in regard to custody determination and awarding visitation. In making this judgment, the court analyzes a myriad of factors including the mental and physical health of the child(ren) and parents, the wishes of the child(ren) and parents, and the relevant influence of third parties in the care and daily living of the child(ren).

Q: How is division of property determined in Illinois?

A: Property identification and division in Illinois involves a two step process. First, the attorney must conduct a sufficient investigation in order to determine what property titled to either or both spouses (or potentially titled to third parties, if applicable) in a divorce is “marital property” or “non-marital property” to either the husband or the wife commensurate with Illinois law. Generally, “marital property” is property acquired during the marriage except property which is received from gift or inheritance. “Non-marital property” includes property acquired before the marriage and that acquired during the marriage by gift or inheritance. In this regard, the attorney must identify and consider the implication of any prenuptial agreement.