a ring with I am sorry, family law attorneyAttempting to reach a divorce settlement without a family law attorney may result in unfavorable terms for one or both parties. Divorce agreements have lasting consequences. Finding an equitable solution to the issues involved in the break up of a marriage can be difficult.

The Stakes are Always High

The stakes are always high in a divorce. Child custody, the division of marital property and financial assets and spousal support are just a few of the issues that come into play in divorce. Even in an uncontested divorce, reaching a settlement that is fair to both spouses is often difficult.

Why Alone May Not Be Best

Under Illinois law, spouses may dissolve their marriage by filing the required pleadings without assistance from anyone else or benefit of legal counsel. Couples sometimes prefer to keep their divorce low-key. The desire for privacy is understandable, but Illinois courts consider the dissolution of marriage a serious matter.

There are no shortcuts allowed, and the spouse(s) seeking the divorce must meet all of the legal requirements and file all of the paperwork themselves if they choose to go it alone. Additionally, the myriad details and required court filings can be tedious and have unanticipated long-term impacts.

Whether they seek the divorce alone or with help, every divorce caserequires that the initial petition and subsequent filings fully address the issues involved, including:

  • Acceptable legal grounds for the dissolution of the marriage
  • Detailed written custody arrangements for children that include domicile, responsibility for education, parenting, social activities, financial support and verification that the parents are acting in the best interests of the children
  • Complete disclosure and equitable division of property and financial assets, which is rarely a fifty-fifty split
  • Fair spousal support/alimony arrangements

Before deciding to proceed on their own, the parties to the divorce should consider the time involved and their ability to file the necessary paperwork with the court correctly.  Errors can delay the process and prove costly.

Avoid Unexpected Consequences

Divorces are frequently emotional. Even when spouses remain on good terms, divorce entails the breakup of family relationships. The emotions involved can affect the ability of the parties to come to a fair divorce settlement. Assistance in working through the divorce process can help avoid unexpected and lasting negative consequences.