Anybody who has been through the divorce process knows it is a big decision, and one that needs to be carefully thought through. Different couples, of course, have different circumstances and have to think and work through the process according to their own situation, but there are certain issues that have are critical to consider before filing for divorce, as well as certain issues that are very important to the decision.
According to the Institute of Family Studies, there are four main areas people take into consideration when thinking of and planning for divorce. These are: the impact of divorce on children, the financial costs and consequences of divorce, happiness and love. Obviously, the latter two factors are more subjective, but nevertheless important. As for the first two, these are areas where it is critical to have the guidance and advocacy of an attorney.
Child custody and property division are both governed by specific rules under state law, and couples contemplating and planning for divorce need to have an understanding of these rules so they can better advocate for themselves in the divorce process. With property division, it is especially important for the financially weaker party to work with an experienced attorney to ensure assets are split justly, whether under state statute or according to any existing agreements.
When it comes to child custody, the primary consideration is always the well-being of the children, but courts must also recognize parental rights. In addition, judges have significant discretion when it comes to custody matters, and having an advocate can help to ensure that the court takes all relevant facts into consideration when determining custody.
In future posts, we’ll say a bit more about Illinois law as it relates to child custody and property division matters, and how an experienced family law attorney can provide zealous advocacy in these areas.