According to a recent study, the most common “final straw” reasons for divorce include infidelity, substance abuse and domestic violence. In fact, results of the study found that nearly 60 percent attributed the critical turning point to their marriage as infidelity, over 30 percent pointed to substance abuse, and roughly a quarter said domestic violence resulted in the deterioration of their marriage. If you are seeking a divorce after suffering infidelity, a spouse’s substance abuse, or domestic violence, you are not alone. Lake county family law attorney Ronald L. Bell will guide you through this difficult time.
Infidelity’s Impact on an Illinois Divorce
When a spouse is unfaithful it can be very painful and can result in the breakdown of the marriage. Because Illinois is a no fault divorce state, a spouse’s infidelity is not a reason for divorce although it may be used to demonstrate irreconcilable differences if one party opposes the divorce. Those blindsided by infidelity often wonder if there is a price to pay for a spouse’s infidelity such as a more generous award of spousal maintenance or a larger share of marital property. Although, it only seems fair when considering the negative impact an unexpected divorce can have on long term financial goals and everyday stability, Illinois law does not allow for fault to be considered with determining the amount of support a spouse will receive or when making decisions regarding the equitable division of marital property. However, it is important to get your fair share. Working with an experienced divorce lawyer to ensure you receive everything you are entitled to – leaving nothing on the table – can help you emerge more financially secure.
Substance Abuse Impact on Divorce
To file for a divorce in Illinois, nobody has to be at fault and that includes divorcing someone because of their substance abuse. However, even in no fault divorce states such as Illinois you may state evidence as to your spouse’s drug or alcohol abuse. Substance abuse can play a major factor in child custody determinations because the best interests of the child is the number one priority. Depending on the circumstances, a sober parent may be awarded the lion’s share of parenting time and parenting responsibility if it is in the child’s best interests. In the meantime, a drug or alcohol dependent parent may be ordered to seek treatment to recover from addiction and restore their parenting rights – a win-win for kids who benefit from a relationship with two responsible parents.
The Impact of Domestic Violence on a Divorce
Domestic violence affects millions of households every year, leading many to divorce to escape an abusive spouse. In Illinois, you may not file for divorce based on your spouse’s domestic abuse, but you can introduce evidence of your spouse’s behavior during the case, which may factor into a child custody determination. More generally, an abusive spouse may be more willing to negotiate in a divorce settlement to avoid his or her abusive behavior coming to light. A court may be more inclined to award spousal maintenance at least on a temporary basis or a larger slice of marital property if the abuse prevented or harmed the abused spouse’s ability to maintain employment.
Contact an Experienced Lake County Divorce Lawyer
Divorce is seldom a matter of just calling things off – there are often triggers that break down a marriage over time such as substance abuse or domestic violence, or unexpected events such as infidelity that bring marriages to a screeching halt. Regardless of what led up to your divorce, it is important to have an experienced advocate on your side to protect your interests. If you have questions regarding Illinois divorce, contact lake county family law offices of Ronald L. Bell & Associates for help at 847-495-6000.