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Common Misconceptions About Divorce 

Emmerth Divorce Law, PLLC Jan. 16, 2023

Torn Piece of Paper with Divorce Text and Paper Couple FiguresDivorce matters often involve sensitive emotions, and it is crucial that you handle them intelligently. However, there are several collective popular notions surrounding the divorce process in Illinois. Therefore, getting detailed guidance from a seasoned Illinois family law attorney is imperative when going through divorce to avoid costly mistakes. 

At Emmerth Divorce Law, PLLC, we're dedicated to offering trusted advocacy and guidance to individuals and families in divorce-related matters. Our reliable team can evaluate your unique situation, enlighten you about your divorce options, and guide you through the various procedures involved in getting a divorce in Illinois. We proudly serve clients across Naperville, Hinsdale, Wheaton, Oak Brook, Geneva, St. Charles, Downers Grove, and Warrenville, Illinois.  

Common Misconceptions about Divorce in Illinois 

Furthermore, there are several misleading information and false assumptions out there about the divorce process in the Prairie State. As such, Illinois family law attorneys must fully explain the entire divorce proceedings, as well as what to expect during and after their divorce, to clients. 

Here are some of the most common misconceptions and myths about divorce in Illinois and a brief explanation of why they're not true: 

Misconception #1: It's possible for one of the spouses to deny the divorce. 

This is a common misconception. Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, meaning there doesn’t need to be any specific reasons for the divorce. In a no-fault divorce, the spouse seeking marital dissolution only has to state "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the relationship breakdown to get a divorce in the state. Even if the other party disagrees, they will be unable to deny the divorce. As a result, you can get a divorce in Illinois without your estranged partner's approval or consent. 

Misconception #2: If the other parent doesn't pay child support, I can withhold visitation. 

This is not true. In Illinois divorces, child support arrangements are quite different from parenting time orders. The custodial parent may not deliberately withhold court-ordered visitation under any circumstance, even if the other parent is delinquent with child support. Alternatively, you may bring a contempt action against the defaulting party requesting the court to enforce the child support order. 

Misconception #3: You have to get divorced in the state you got married in. 

This is another misconception. It is not compulsory for you to get divorced in the state you got married. To get a divorce in Illinois, either you or your estranged partner must be a resident of the state for at least three months (90 days) prior to filing. 

Misconception #4: If adultery is involved, the other spouse gets everything. 

Illinois is an equitable distribution state. This means that, in a divorce, marital property will be divided equitably and justly between the spouses, but not evenly. To achieve equitable division in a divorce case that involves adultery, the Illinois court will assess whether the unfaithful spouse deliberately wasted the couple's marital assets and finances on funding vacations, trips, buying expensive gifts, and jewelry for their secret lover or mistress. 

Misconception #5: Alimony is a part of any divorce. 

This is another common misconception. Alimony is not awarded in every divorce case, but only when there is a need and the ability to pay. Under Illinois law, the court will only issue an order for alimony if the requesting spouse needs financial support and the other spouse has the ability and resources to pay. 

Misconception #6: The children get to choose who they will live with. 

In Illinois, child custody is usually awarded based on the best interests and welfare of the child. In addition to the child's reasonable wishes, the Illinois court will determine child custody while taking these factors into consideration: 

  • The parent's ability to make decisions about the child. 

  • The mental and physical health of each parent. 

  • The ability of either parent to cooperate with the other party. 

  • The child's needs and parents' wishes. 

  • The role of each parent in making crucial family decisions affecting the child. 

  • The distance between the parent's residence. 

  • Any existing agreement between the parents concerning child custody. 

  • Any history of physical abuse, child abuse, or domestic violence. 

  • Other factors deemed important by the court. 

Misconception #7: Our assets will all be split 50/50. 

As mentioned earlier, Illinois is an equitable distribution state, and marital assets will be divided equitably and not equally. To achieve equitable asset distribution in a divorce, the court will consider the following factors: 

  • The income earned by each party during the marriage 

  • The length of the marriage 

  • The respective ages, health, and education levels of each party 

  • The potential income-earning capacity of each party 

  • The contributions of each party to the marriage and marital estate 

  • The dissipation by each party against the marital estate 

  • The pre-marital or separate property available to each party 

  • Any existing prenuptial and postnuptial agreements 

  • The responsibility of either party 

  • The tax consequences of each asset 

A knowledgeable Illinois divorce lawyer can help you better understand the divorce process and help you make intelligent decisions in other marital dissolution matters. 

How Legal Counsel Can Help 

Filing for divorce in Illinois often involves a lot of complex processes and legal legwork. Nonetheless, knowing what to expect can help make it easier to navigate divorce proceedings. At Emmerth Divorce Law, PLLC, our attorneys are ready and poised to advise and guide clients through the complicated procedures involved in marital dissolutions. 

As your legal counsel, we can help you understand the truth about the Illinois divorce process and craft a personalized legal strategy that fits your unique situation. In addition, we will work intelligently with you and your spouse to settle divorce matters – including alimony, property division, child support, child custody, and parenting time – peacefully and help you move forward quickly. 

Contact us at Emmerth Divorce Law, PLLC, today to schedule a simple consultation with experienced divorce attorneys. Our trusted team can offer you the highly-personalized legal guidance and advocacy you need in your divorce and help make your transition as smooth as possible. We proudly serve clients throughout Naperville, Hinsdale, Wheaton, Oak Brook, Geneva, St. Charles, Downers Grove, and Warrenville, Illinois.