Divorcing couples in Illinois and around the country sometimes make ill-advised decisions because they received poor advice or believed something to be true that was not. There are a number of common misconceptions about divorce, and people may be wise to check the accuracy of their information carefully before making important decisions.
It is commonly believed that child support is established by state guidelines that are rigidly enforced, but family law judges may disregard these rules if they believe that applying them strictly will lead to an unjust outcome. Adulterous spouses may be surprised to learn that no-fault divorce laws, which allow couples to end their marriages when no misconduct has occurred, may not be enough to prevent evidence of their infidelity being used against them in court. Poor behavior still has consequences, and evidence of infidelity or abuse can weigh heavily when judges make spousal support decisions.
Divorced spouses are often surprised when lenders pursue them for payment of debts that they believed were no longer their responsibility. Banks take little notice of divorce orders when pursuing loans secured by property, and spouses who cede their rights to real estate during property division negotiations may wish to insist that all mortgages are paid off or an indemnification clause is signed.
Going through a divorce can be emotionally draining, and spouses often turn to friends or family members for advice and comfort. While these individuals may have the best of intentions, they may not always possess the knowledge or experience required to give sound legal or financial advice. The law evolves over time, and advice that may have been prudent decades ago could lead to unwise decisions today. Attorneys are expected to stay abreast of pertinent legal developments, and they are required to act with the best interests of their clients in mind.