call us630-584-4800

Free Consultations

shutterstock_301508825-min.jpgCouples who are in a long-term relationship will usually choose to get married. However, there are many couples who live together, share income and expenses, have children, and enjoy the same type of relationship as a married couple without uniting together in a legal partnership. Couples may choose to do so because they do not see the need for a religious wedding ceremony, because they wish to maintain some independence, or for a variety of other reasons. A couple that wishes to remain unmarried will need to understand how this will affect their rights and responsibilities, including how matters will be handled if they choose to break up in the future. Those who are looking to protect their rights and interests may want to consult with a family law attorney to address these issues.

Rights of Partners in a Breakup or a Divorce

Some states recognize common-law marriage, and if a couple lives together for a certain amount of time, they will be considered to be legally married. However, Illinois is not one of those states, and unmarried couples will not be afforded the same rights as married spouses. This means that if an unmarried couple ends their relationship, issues may be addressed differently than they would during a married couple’s divorce.

In a breakup of an unmarried couple, partners will not have the right to the equitable distribution of property. If there are any disputes about property division, determining the rightful owner of certain assets may be difficult, and these decisions may be based on the income earned by each partner, whether assets were acquired by one partner, whether different forms of property are titled in one partner’s name, and the contributions each partner made to jointly-owned assets.

Even though smartphones are a relatively recent invention, they have become an essential part of many people’s daily lives. Using a phone to send text messages, perform online searches, look up directions, and complete other activities can be very convenient, but one of the primary benefits these devices offer is the ability to connect with and communicate with others. Browsing social networking sites such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter, sending messages to friends and acquaintances, and posting photos, videos, and status updates are all activities that people do on a daily basis. However, for those who are going through a divorce, these activities may have some unintended consequences. By understanding how certain uses of social media may affect the divorce process, you can avoid doing anything that may make it more difficult for you to end your marriage quickly and efficiently.

Social Media “Don’ts” During Your Divorce

As you work to resolve the issues that must be addressed when ending your marriage, you will want to be sure to avoid the following:

  • Using shared computers or devices - If you and your spouse are still living in the same home, you may both use a family computer or other devices, such as tablets. If you stay logged in to your social media accounts on these devices, your spouse may be tempted to look at the private messages you have sent or other personal information. To avoid this issue, you may want to limit your activity to personal devices that are not used by your spouse. It is also a good idea to change your passwords on all of your online accounts to ensure that you will be able to protect your privacy.

Geneva legal separation attorneyMarried couples who are experiencing relationship issues have multiple legal options. For some couples, legally terminating their marriage through divorce may be the best solution for everyone involved. However, a couple may not be ready to take this irrevocable step, or they may wish to maintain certain benefits that come with being married. Legal separation may be an alternative option in these cases. When determining which approach to take, a couple will need to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

Pros and Cons of Divorce and Legal Separation

A divorce will dissolve a couple’s marriage, ending their legal partnership and allowing spouses to go their separate ways. While a legal separation will address many of the same issues as a divorce, a couple will continue to be legally married. The processes followed during divorce and legal separation are similar, and in both cases, a couple will need to reach agreements on issues such as the division of marital property, child custody, and spousal maintenance. If they cannot agree on certain issues, a family court judge may decide how these matters should be handled.

If a couple is looking for a complete split that will allow them both to move forward into the next chapter of their lives, divorce will likely be their best option. By ending their marriage, separating their finances, and making agreements about how issues related to children or financial support will be handled going forward, they can put their differences behind them and establish separate lives and households. However, divorce may not be the best option if a couple believes there may be a possibility of reconciliation, and some spouses may not wish to get divorced for religious or cultural reasons. Divorce will also eliminate some of the benefits of marriage, such as the ability for a person to be covered on a health insurance policy or receive other benefits through their spouse.

Wheaton family lawyer for Joint Parenting Agreements

When parents get divorced, decisions related to child custody will be some of the most important issues that they will need to address. In a previous blog, we looked at how a joint parenting agreement will need to include details about legal and physical custody of children. However, in addition to these larger issues, a parenting plan will need to address multiple other details about how parents will work together to raise their children going forward. By understanding what a parenting agreement will include, parents can make sure they will be prepared to address ongoing concerns related to their children in the years to come.

Additional Terms of a Parenting Agreement

In addition to making decisions about the allocation of decision-making responsibilities and including schedules for parenting time, a parenting agreement will address issues such as:

Wheaton family lawyer for shared custody

While many couples are able to remain happily married from the date of their wedding until the death of one or both spouses, a significant percentage of marriages end in divorce. Many of these couples have children together, and during the divorce process, they will need to determine how custody of their children will be handled. Even though they will no longer be united together in a legal relationship, most divorced parents will still have to work together to make sure their children will be able to grow up and lead happy and healthy lives. By understanding what shared custody looks like, parents can prepare for the years to come and make sure they will be able to meet their children’s needs going forward.

Sharing Legal and Physical Custody in Illinois

In the majority of divorce cases, parents will both play an ongoing role in their children’s lives. Situations where one parent maintains sole custody of children are rare, although this may be appropriate in situations involving domestic violence or other cases where children’s physical or emotional well-being may be at risk. However, it is also relatively rare for custody to be divided exactly down the middle, with children spending equal amounts of time in each parent’s home and parents always collaborating to make decisions about how children will be raised. Most cases are somewhere in between these two extremes, and parents can craft a parenting plan that will make sure they both play a prominent role in their children’s lives. 

Back to Top