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St. Charles IL divorce lawyerThe prospect of divorce is never an appealing one, especially when it feels as though so much is at stake for both parties. From saying goodbye to the relationship and months or years of memories you and your spouse share to dividing belongings and making new living arrangements, the outcome of any divorce, no matter how large or small, results in sacrifice. The experience can be even more emotionally taxing when children and pets are involved, further complicating the question of whether or not to officially call it quits.

Signs You May Be Able to Reconcile

Marriage and family relationship experts identify certain factors that may make reconciliation possible, should both parties be willing to work on the relationship. These include mutual love and trust, good communication, and a sense of safety where both parties are concerned. A sense of safety can manifest itself in a number of ways, including mentally, physically, emotionally, or financially. Other signs that you may be able to salvage your marriage are the presence of shared interests and obvious reciprocal partnership. If you are both faithful to one another, express genuine commitment to the marriage, and possess active, common interests, it may be beneficial for you both to explore the option to stay together.

Indicators it May Be Time to Leave

Some red flags that experts consider unredeemable hindrances to a marriage include a lack of common goals or shared interests, infidelity, and a general lack of trust. The absence of trust harms a partner’s sense of safety and security, and if there is no sense of safety present in the marriage, an ongoing, unhealthy balance exists. A pattern of pathological dishonesty is another big indicator that it may be time to leave. It is usually a combination of these negatives that causes the quality of the marriage to deteriorate over time, finally bringing the unhealthy nature of the relationship to one or both spouse’s attention. For some, the realization hits hard and fast, while it slowly sneaks up on others. 

alimony, child custody, dissolution of marriage, grounds for dissolution of marriage, grounds for divorce, habitual drunkenness, initiate divorce proceedings, Kane County divorce attorney, maintenance arrangementsWhile Illinois law values the institution of marriage, it also recognizes that marriage does not always work out. Thus, Illinois residents may seek a court judgment to dissolve their marriage. The petitioner (the party filing for divorce) may have to prove one of the following grounds for dissolution of marriage:

  • The respondent (the party responding to the divorce petition) was impotent;
  • The responding party had a wife or husband living at the time of the marriage (bigamy);
  • The responding party cheated on his or her spouse;
  • The responding party left his or her spouse for at least one year;
  • The responding party, for two years, has shown “habitual drunkenness”;
  • The responding party has used drugs in an excessive manner for two years;
  • The responding party has abused, threatened, or attempted to kill his or her spouse;
  • The responding party has been convicted of a felony; or
  • The responding party transmitted to the petitioner a sexually transmitted disease.

Other grounds for dissolution of marriage relate to both spouses and not to fault by an individual party. The petitioner might have to prove that the parties have lived separate and apart for at least two years. In this case, there must be irreconcilable differences that caused the marriage to deteriorate. The court must also determine that marriage counseling or other reconciliation attempts are impracticable and not in the best interests of the family. The petitioner may also have to prove if the spouses have lived separate and apart for at least six months. However, the two-year requirement may be waived if both provide written consent to the court.

(Note that if you are living separate and apart from your spouse and are not at fault, you might have grounds to seek reasonable support and maintenance.)

Posted on in Divorce

property division, commingling, marital property, non-marital propertyWhether you have been married 50 years or 50 days, you and your spouse likely have commingled property that used to be exclusively yours. Money from your individual savings accounts can be commingled; money or property you received from a relative through inheritance can be commingled; and even a home or farm that you owned individually could have become commingled during your marriage.

Commingling occurs when money or assets from the estate of one entity gets transferred into the estate of another. A common occurrence of commingling is when an individual owns a business and the money in personal accounts and business accounts gets moved back and forth to the point that it becomes no longer separate. In a marriage, at least in the context of divorce, all of the property of the spouses is classified as either marital property or non-marital property. In a close relationship, the property of two separate people can easily become commingled. Can Commingled Property Be Recovered in Dissolution? In order to answer that question, the property in dispute must first be classified, either as marital or non-marital. Non-marital property is anything a spouse owned before the marriage or that was given to them alone during the marriage, which could include a truck given to him by his father, or an inheritance from a great aunt. Marital property is everything else, including all property that was acquired during the marriage, even the separate income of the spouses. In a divorce, the person wishing to recover property that used to be his or hers individually claims that something that is now considered marital property was and should still be considered non-marital property. It is an argument for reimbursement, as perhaps what was contributed to the marital estate was significant, and it would simply be fairer to credit it back to the contributor. Thus, reimbursement is a possibility, but it requires good record keeping and the right circumstances. The general rule is that a contribution from one estate into another (i.e. non-marital into marital) becomes classified as property of the recipient. However, in the following circumstances, a spouse may be reimbursed for certain contributions:
  • Traceable property - a contribution that can be clearly traced from the marital estate to the non-marital estate, such as a car that was bought with money directly received from an inheritance;
  • Can’t be a gift - a contribution that was clearly not intended to be a gift;
  • Personal efforts with significant effects – efforts that resulted in substantial appreciation of the property. For example, significant home improvements funded by money from non-marital property, or a profitable management of a wealth portfolio.
Contact an Illinois Family Law Attorney If you think you ought to be reimbursed for a contribution you made to your marital estate, consult with experienced family attorneys. Contact Goostree Law Group today. We serve clients in Illinois, and we can answer all of your family law questions.
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