Men going through a divorce in Chicago or the Chicagoland area may feel they are at a disadvantage in the process because of their gender. This is not necessarily the case. However, it is important to have an experienced family law attorney to protect your rights and assist you in resolving financial and other critical issues.
What issues are men dealing with in a Chicago or Chicagoland area divorce?
If you are planning to dissolve your marriage, you may be wondering what issues are involved in divorce for men. Family law courts have goals of maintaining the financial situation of both spouses and, in matters involving children, acting in the best interests of the child. Challenges you may be facing include:
- Keeping your non-marital, separate property: Non-marital property is all assets and debts belonging solely to either spouse. This may include property purchased before the marriage that remains solely in your name; property acquired by gift, legacy, or descent (or acquired in exchange for such property); property acquired after a judgment of legal separation; property excluded by a valid prenuptial, postnuptial, or other agreement between you and your spouse; and any income from or increase in value of non-marital property, provided no personal contribution can be attributed to your spouse.
- Ensuring equitable distribution of marital assets: Family law courts have the authority under Illinois law to divide marital property equitably. This does not necessarily mean equally. Judges have broad discretion in property division and will not hesitate to divide assets unequally if they deem it appropriate based on the facts of the case. Property is divided without regard to any marital misconduct on either side.
- Protecting your rights as a father: Divorce can have a significant impact on paternal relationships with children. Parenting time (visitation) orders can limit the amount of quality time you have to spend with your child. It is important to present a compelling case for the most advantageous custody arrangement possible.
- Reaching a reasonable settlement on spousal maintenance and child support: Spousal maintenance (alimony) may be granted by the court to either spouse pursuant to guidelines established under state law. Marital misconduct is not considered in awarding spousal support. The judge will consider the income and needs of each party, the length of the marriage, and other factors. Both parents have a duty to support their children under Illinois law. The court has the authority to award child support to either parent for the benefit of the child, typically to the parent with the majority of parenting time.
Can divorce orders be changed once they are issued?
Nothing stays the same in life, and circumstances can change dramatically in a matter of days.
- If you experience a significant change in your financial circumstances, such as getting laid off from your job or an accident that significantly affects your earning capacity, you may file a motion to modify your divorce judgement as to spousal maintenance and/or child support.
- Parenting time can be modified if the court finds that it would be in the best interests of the child.
- If both parents agree, you can modify parental responsibilities at any time. If the other parent does not agree, you must wait two years after the original order to request a modification, unless the child is in danger under the current arrangement.
When you come to Beermann LLP for men’s divorce in Chicago or the Chicagoland area, you get a thoughtfully selected legal team made up of family law attorneys, paralegals, and staff. From negotiated settlements to complex litigation, our talented trial lawyers have years of experience and a stellar reputation in the courts. When everything is at stake, we are the law firm people to which people reach out.