Unless you have gone through the divorce process before, you probably do not know what truly happens when a person decides to legally end their marriage. Most people’s understanding of divorce is taken from movies and television shows or pieced together from things they have heard from friends and family who have gone through the process. This can result in some less-than-accurate understandings about divorce and how the process works. However, it is important to have a realistic idea of what to expect if you are thinking of getting a divorce. Here are a few common divorce myths and misconceptions and the truths behind them:
You Have to Have a Specific Reason to File for Divorce
Since 2016, Illinois has been a purely “no-fault state” when it came to divorce. Before that, Illinois law provided 10 possible grounds for divorce, and a person would state one or more of these as reasons their marriage should be dissolved. The old grounds for divorce included things such as mental cruelty, adultery, habitual drunkenness, and abandonment. Now, the only grounds recognized are irreconcilable differences, which simply means that a marriage has broken down beyond repair.
Spouses Can Be Punished if They Committed Adultery
While adultery used to be one of the grounds for divorce, infidelity in a marriage will typically not play a role in most divorce cases. In fact, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act specifically states that the decisions made during the divorce about issues such as the division of marital property should be made “without regard to marital misconduct.” This means that an ex-spouse cannot be financially penalized or lose parental rights simply because they had an extramarital affair.
Mothers Always Get Custody of the Children
While at one point this may have been true, it is no longer true anymore. Family courts across the country recognize the importance of both parents playing active roles in their children’s lives. Because of this, Illinois courts presume that both parents are fit to have parenting time with their children unless there is clear and convincing evidence that spending time with a parent would be detrimental to the child’s well-being. In many cases, parents are able to determine a way to create schedules that ensure they will both have reasonable parenting time.
Only Ex-Wives Get Alimony
In today’s world, more women are in the workforce than ever before. Though it is still the exception to the rule, some women are the breadwinners for their families, earning more than their husbands. If either spouse needs financial assistance in order to maintain their standard of living after the divorce, they may ask the court to award them spousal support. Illinois law does not care whether the spouse needing support is the wife or the husband.
An Orland Park, IL Divorce Attorney Can Answer Any Questions You Might Have
If you are planning to get a divorce, it is important to understand what really goes on during the divorce process and what you can expect to happen. At Wakenight & Associates, P.C., we can help you prepare for your divorce both emotionally and financially by answering any questions you have about the divorce process. Our skilled Will County divorce lawyers have more than 95 years of combined legal experience helping couples move on from a marriage that has broken down and beginning the next phase of their lives. Call our office today at 815-458-5660 to schedule a free consultation.