Many couples in the Chicago area are struggling with the decision about whether to end their marriage. The nature of the divorce process depends largely upon the attitudes of the parties. If they are able to communicate openly and honestly, they may be able to reach a decision on every important issue without asking the judge to make the decision. If, on the other hand, they see every dispute as a weapon to be used to aggravate or harm the other party, the process is likely to be very long and fraught with anger and depression. The courts encourage parties to use processes such as divorce mediation or collaborative divorce in an effort to reduce the emotional stress of a divorce and avoid a court trial.
In the absence of an enforceable pre-marital agreement, a couple's property will be divided in the manner that the court views as fair and equitable. Usually, this rule produces a more or less equal division of the couple's assets, but certain kinds of assets, such as appreciated securities or real estate, may be difficult to divide fairly.
In deciding issues involving the children, the court will rely on the rule that every decision must serve the best interests of the child. Application of that standard will most often produce a decision that is fair to all of the children and balances the interests of the parents. Parenting time will most likely be divided equally between the parents, and child support will be ordered depending upon the financial situation of each spouse and the needs of the child.