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Does it Matter When I File for Divorce in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerFor many divorcing couples, it is hard to say exactly when the relationship is over. Many couples experience marital problems for months or years before they start the divorce process. Spouses often live apart or lead separate lives within the same household long before they actually file for divorce. If you are in a situation like this, you may have questions about the timing of your divorce petition. Should I file for divorce sooner rather than later? Is there a benefit to waiting to file for divorce? The answers depend on a multitude of factors, so it is best to receive personalized advice from an experienced divorce attorney.

Illinois Waiting Period for Divorce

In Illinois, at least one spouse has to be a resident of Illinois for 90 days before either spouse may file for divorce. If you and your spouse agree that “irreconcilable differences” have led to the “breakdown” or collapse of your marriage, there is no waiting period for filing the divorce petition. If your spouse disagrees with this assertion, living separately from your spouse for six months creates an automatic presumption that irreconcilable differences have caused a marital breakdown.

When You File Can Influence Child Custody, Property Division or Alimony

The date you file for divorce, or “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage,” marks the end of the marriage for the purposes of calculating spousal maintenance or alimony. The duration of Illinois alimony payments is typically based on the duration of the marriage so the longer you hold off filing, the longer your marriage will be for alimony calculations.

When parents file for divorce, the court often issues a temporary motion to maintain the status quo. This means that you continue the current child custody and parenting time arrangements until a formal child custody order is established. So, if you wish to maintain your current parenting schedule, it may be beneficial to file now. When you file may also influence child support. You cannot ask the court to award temporary child support until you file for divorce.

The date you file for divorce may also influence any future dissipation claims. A “dissipation of assets” claim is a claim used to recover funds or property that was wasted or misused by a spouse prior to divorce. Per Illinois case law, dissipation occurs when assets are wasted while the marriage is experiencing an “irretrievable breakdown.” Filing for divorce clearly shows that the marriage is experiencing a breakdown.

Contact a Western Springs Divorce Lawyer

When you file for divorce can influence the outcome of your divorce, so it is important to make this decision carefully. To learn more, contact a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney at Botti Marinaccio, LTD. Call us at 630-575-8585 for a confidential consultation.



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2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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