Divorce Lawyer in Arlington Heights
Today, more people than ever see legal marriage dissolution as a legitimate way to end this relationship. But divorce is seldom a cheap or easy solution. It has significant financial and emotional costs. Additionally, despite some recent divorce law changes in Arlington Heights, marriage dissolution is still an extremely complex process.
At Andrea Heckman Law, we offer cost-effective and long term-solutions in this area. We carefully break down all the issues and take things one step at a time. This approach allows us to unravel a tangled web of emotional and financial issues, so you can get back to living life.
Procedural Issues in an Arlington Heights Divorce
Most of the 2016 procedural changes made headlines, but they were really minor tweaks. For example, lawmakers eliminated evidence-based divorces based on adultery, cruelty, and other faults. Nearly all Cook County marriage dissolution proceedings were no-fault divorces. Judges grant no-fault divorces if at least one spouse testifies that the marriage has completely broken down and there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation. The underlying reasons for that breakdown are usually not relevant in this part of the process.
Additionally, lawmakers ended the old two-year waiting period. But typically, both spouses agreed on the need for a divorce, so that waiting period was only six months. Now, the court presumes irreconcilable differences once that six-month separation period ends. As outlined below, the complex divorce process usually takes a lot longer than that.
The law still contains a residency requirement. At least one spouse must have lived in the state for at least 90 days prior to the petition’s filing.
Parenting Time Division in Cook County
Most Cook County divorces involve minor children. Typically, the parenting time division (child custody) must be in the best interests of the children. Furthermore, there is a presumption that children benefit from meaningful and consistent contact with both their biological parents.
Traditionally, the parenting plan was an every-other-weekend/every-other-holiday division. Increasingly, parents are turning to, and judges are approving, newer schemes, such as:
- Extended Weekend: Weekend visitation begins on Thursday night and ends on Monday night. Because of this minor tweak, the prior 70/30 parenting time division is more like 60/40.
- Block Scheduling: In this plan, the parents essentially disregard the calendar. The children spend a week or two with Parent A, a week or two with Parent B, and the cycle repeats. Minor accommodations are made for major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Empty Nest: This division takes block scheduling one step further. The parents switch homes instead of the children. The empty nest plan is usually more stable and predictable for the children.
Variables, like a parent’s physical or emotional disability and prior domestic abuse allegations, often affect the parenting time division.
Property Distribution in Arlington Heights
Illinois is an equitable distribution state. So, marital property must be distributed equitably, which is not necessarily the same thing as “equally.” Furthermore, property includes both assets and debts.
Before property can be distributed, it must be classified. Distinguishing marital and non-marital property is often problematic, especially if the marriage lasted longer than a few years. Over time, property gets commingled. For example, Wife may use money from her paycheck (marital asset) to pay off her student loan (non-marital debt).
Reach Out to a Hard-Working Lawyer
Divorce cases must cover a number of diverse issues. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Arlington Heights, contact Andrea Heckman Law. Convenient payment plans are available.