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Barrington IL Divorce Lawyers

barrington il divorce attorney

Divorce Attorneys Serving Clients in Inverness, Algonquin, and Throughout the Area

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there are slightly over 70,000 marriages and approximately 31,000 instances of divorce or annulment annually. Nationally, there are about 800,000 divorces or annulments each year, which equates to roughly three for every 1,000 people. Rates of divorce peaked during the early 1980s at nearly 50 percent of all marriages, to the present levels of around 30 percent. When faced with critical issues of family law, it is strongly suggested that you do so with solid legal representation.

The law firm of Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, has a tremendous team of professionals with a wealth of experience in IL divorce law. They are proud to have served clients throughout Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and McHenry Counties, for over 25 years.

Defining Divorce in Illinois

Illinois law uses the terms "divorce" and "dissolution" interchangeably to describe the legal process for terminating or ending a marriage or civil union. In 2011, the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and the Civil Union Act enacted civil unions, which are legally recognized relationships between two individuals, regardless of their gender. Currently, the only grounds (basis) for divorce or dissolution are irreconcilable differences.

Legal Framework

Proceedings of dissolution are heard at the county level, within the Circuit Courts, in accordance with the practices of civil law. Most counties have a designated domestic relations (or similarly named) segment of the court. The laws themselves are directed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), which identifies its purposes as follows:

  • Provide sufficient procedure for enactment and registration of marriage.
  • Support the integrity of marriage and family relations.
  • Promote cordial dispute resolution between marital parties.
  • Lessen possible harm to spouses and children from conflicts and violence.
  • Ensure positive decisions are made for the children.
  • Promote child/parent relationships.
  • Allocate parenting time and decision-making responsibilities in the best interest of children.
  • Make reasonable determinations for support amid dissolution actions.
  • Exclude marital misconduct from consideration in facilitating duties and rights.
  • Preserve and conserve marital assets amid litigation.

Recent Divorce Law Changes

In January 2016, there were some significant legislative changes to the laws regarding divorce. Some of the notable modifications included establishing "irreconcilable differences" as the lone basis for dissolution. These are defined as being differences determined to have caused an irreversible marital breakdown. In dissolution actions, the waiting periods of either six months or two years were both eliminated. Some changes to the terminology used in proceedings included replacing "custody" and "visitation," with "allocation of parental responsibilities" and "parenting time," respectively. Changes were also made in order to process dissolution judgments more rapidly through the courts, as well as modifications to the way spousal maintenance (support) is determined.

Understanding Separation in Illinois

In situations where there is a marital breakdown, parties can file a petition with the court for a legal separation, indicating the parties are living separately from one another. This action alone does not legally end a marriage. It does, however, allow the court to make a temporary order that spousal support (maintenance) be paid by either party until any orders of such are finalized in the dissolution of the marriage. Other interim orders that the court may implement prior to a judgment in a pending dissolution include allocation of parenting time, parental responsibility, and usage of property.

The law firm of Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, has over three decades of experience advising those considering or preparing for divorce. Our attorneys are compassionate and work with you to secure the best long-term solutions for you and your family. Contact the office today by calling 847-381-8700 for an affordable consultation.

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