Concluding a divorce that is right for you takes time. It may require months or years of soul-searching and of trying to improve your marriage. Yet even when you understand a divorce is necessary, you still have to ask yourself: When should I file? Life, particularly with children, is busy and chaotic. It is necessary to think about the timing of this major change in regard to what is best for you and how it may impact the legal process.
When is it Time to File for Divorce?
Overall, you should file for divorce when you are ready. There is never going to be a perfect moment to end your marriage. It will always be a difficult decision and time period for you and your family. However, once you know you are ready to move forward with a divorce, there are some factors to consider:
- Are you or your children in any danger? If you or your children are in danger due to physical or emotional abuse, speak with our experienced divorce attorneys right away. We will focus on getting you and your kids to safety and beginning the divorce proceedings as soon as possible. We can also help protect you and the children by seeking protective orders.
- Are your children close to reaching 18? If you have young children, then waiting to file for a divorce may not make any difference. They are young enough that custody will need to be decided between you and your spouse or by a judge. However, if your children are close to turning 18 years old or from graduating high school, it may benefit you to wait to file for divorce. If your children are all adults at the time of your divorce, you can avoid a custody battle. Once your children are adults, where they live is a family discussion. However, waiting will not end all child-related issues. If your children are still in college, you and your spouse will need to determine who pays for tuition and room and board or turn to the court for answers.
- Have you recently moved to a new state? If you want to file for divorce but recently moved to Illinois, you need to speak with an experienced attorney before filing. You must meet the jurisdictional requirements to file for divorce within the state. In Illinois, you must have lived or been stationed in the military here for at least 90 days. If you have not fulfilled the residency requirement yet, you may need to wait weeks or months before you can file.
- Will you request or pay maintenance? If you want to request spousal maintenance during the divorce or you have a feeling your spouse will ask for it, then you will want to talk with an attorney about Illinois’ maintenance law. The court will look at a number of factors to determine whether alimony is appropriate. If it is, and you and your spouse make less than $250,000 combined, then the court will use a formula to determine the amount and duration of payments. This formula takes into consideration the length of the marriage. Therefore, if you want maintenance and are close to an important anniversary like 10 or 20 years, then you may wish to wait to file for divorce. If you may need to pay alimony and want to avoid a longer duration, then you may want to file before an important anniversary.
- Do you understand your family’s finances? Filing for divorce is a major economic decision. It means your and your spouses’ property, assets, and debts will be divided between you and you will move forward living on one income. Before you file for divorce, it is important to understand your family’s finances, including your incomes, savings, investments, insurance policies, retirement, mortgages, loans, and other debts. Without a clear picture of your family’s finances, you will have a difficult time negotiating an equitable property settlement, seeking alimony, and determining a new budget.
Contact Our Naperville Divorce Lawyers Today
You do not have to wait until you are sure you are ready to file for divorce to call us at Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. We are happy to speak with you as soon as you are interested in learning more about the divorce process and whether it is right for you. We can also go over factors that may impact when you decide to file.
Call us today or use the online form to schedule a free consultation.