Oak Brook is a small village outside Chicago with about 8,000 residents and 3,000 households. Almost three-quarters of the households in Oak Brook are made up of married couples. While Oak Brook is not large, it is a wealthy community, with the families who live there earning a median income of over $150,000. Even people living in the most affluent communities can contend with family law issues, however, such as weighing whether to divorce or separate. If you need help pursuing a divorce or dealing with any other family law matter, you should consult a trusted Oak Brook divorce lawyer to discuss your options. The family law attorneys at Kollias & Giese, P.C. can help you determine which actions to take to help you pursue your desired outcome.Divorce Under Illinois Law
Under Illinois law, a person who wishes to end his or her marriage must file a petition for dissolution of marriage. The petition must include information regarding the married couple, any children who were born while they were married, and any agreements that the parties have reached regarding spousal maintenance or parental responsibilities. The party filing the petition must also be able to show that either the party or his or her spouse has lived in the state for at least 90 days before filing the petition.Distribution of Property
Once a petition for dissolution of marriage is filed, the parties may engage in discovery, during which they will seek information regarding the value of any marital or separate property. Determining the nature and value of any property owned by either party is critical to evaluating how property should be divided. Under Illinois law, any marital property is subject to equitable distribution, which is a concept that a divorce attorney in Oak Brook can explain. Marital property is any property that either spouse acquires during the course of the marriage, with some exceptions. Specifically, any property that a person obtains by gift, legacy, or descent is not considered marital property. Additionally, property may be excluded from the definition of marital property by a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. There is additional property that is not considered marital property under Illinois law as well.
While sometimes it will be easy to determine whether assets are marital or separate property, the process may be complicated. For example, if one or both parties contributed to a retirement fund or accrued pension benefits prior to and during the marriage, a determination must be made as to which percentage of the assets are marital. An experienced family law attorney can assist you in assessing and proving the nature of any property owned by either your spouse or you.Legal Separation
In some cases, even if a couple no longer wants to live together, they may not want to seek a divorce for various reasons. In such circumstances, you can discuss with an Oak Brook divorce attorney whether legal separation may be an appropriate option. Legal separation is different from merely living apart, since it allows either party to request spousal maintenance or support without ending the marriage. The requirements for seeking a legal separation are similar to those for filing a petition for dissolution of marriage, in that the party filing a petition for legal separation must show that at least one spouse has lived in Illinois for 90 days prior to filing the petition. A judgment of legal separation does not preclude a party from seeking a divorce at a later date.Speak With an Experienced Family Law Attorney
When two people decide that they no longer want to live together as a married couple, there are several things that they must consider, including whether they want to seek a separation or divorce. If you are contemplating ending your marriage, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney regarding whether you should seek a divorce or separation and how each option may affect you legally and financially. The attorneys at Kollias & Giese, P.C. can thoroughly analyze the facts of your case and help you determine how you should proceed. Contact us at (630) 407-1200 or through our online form to schedule a free and confidential meeting with a divorce lawyer in the Oak Brook area.