Learning About Divorce Options
By: M. Scott Gordon
If you are having problems in your marriage, you may be wondering about options for divorce in Chicago. You might know that you want to separate from your spouse, but you might not have a clear understanding yet of whether you both will be able to agree to terms of the divorce, whether there will be possibilities for negotiation and compromise, and whether you will need to have a judge make the ultimate decisions about specific aspects of your divorce.
As an article in Forbes emphasizes, there is no one-size-fits-all model for divorce. To be sure, each family has its own particular concerns and difficulties, and there are nuances in every case. Accordingly, there are different models for divorce that you can consider. Depending upon the issues that are most important to you, there are different routes to divorce that may be available.
Avoiding the Courtroom in Your Divorce
For some families, the most important aspect of a divorce is avoiding the courtroom. Sometimes spouses simply do not want to deal with the extensive cost and time of going to court, or they do not want certain issues in their relationship to be made public. For these couples, divorce mediation or collaborative divorce may be the right choice.
Divorce mediation is beneficial for many different reasons. First and most significantly, mediation allows the two spouses to play an important role in the outcome of the divorce. Rather than presenting a case to a judge and having the judge make the ultimate decision, mediation allows the two parties to come together before a neutral third party—the mediator—to work toward a mutually agreeable solutions to contested divorce matters. For example, mediation can allow the spouses to reach an agreement about property division or about the allocation of parental responsibilities. Collaborative divorce is also a method for keeping your divorce outside the courtroom. With collaborative divorce, each spouse hires his or her own lawyer, and then the parties work toward negotiating a reasonable outcome with which both parties are satisfied.
With mediation, family matters are kept private and do not need to be aired before a judge. If mediation or collaborative divorce are unsuccessful, the parties still have the option to go to court for a more traditional divorce process.
Getting a Divorce as Quickly as Possible
If the most important matter in your divorce is getting it done quickly, then an uncontested divorce will be the best option for you. As long as both spouses agree to everything—from property division to spousal support to the allocation of parental responsibilities—then the divorce can go quite quickly. Keep in mind that you must be an Illinois resident for at least 90 days prior to filing for divorce. You also must have been living separate and apart for six months or more. If those conditions are met, and you agree to all terms (for an uncontested divorce), the divorce may be granted as soon as 30 days after your filing.
Making Sure Your Needs Are Met Regardless of Time
An uncontested divorce means that there are one or more terms that you and your spouse cannot agree upon. If the most important thing to you is making sure that your needs are met and that the judge hears your case, you will need to take your case to court. In some cases, spouses attempt divorce mediation before going to court, but mediation may not be successful.
With a contested divorce, the judge typically will make a decision about the issues that are contested, and may determine how, for example, marital property will be distributed and how parental responsibilities will be allocated through an allocation judgment.
Discuss Your Case with a Divorce Lawyer in Chicago
If you have questions about filing for divorce, you should discuss them with a Chicago divorce lawyer as soon as possible. Contact M. Scott Gordon & Associates today to learn more about how we can assist with your case.