Family law matters can be emotionally and mentally draining. Misconceptions about family law can further complicate the process and cause unnecessary misery for all parties involved.
Getting (and giving) bad advice is an unfortunate part of life. While the giver of the advice most probably only means well, they could be sabotaging a case legally without even knowing it.
Gain clarity and confidence in approaching family law matters, including divorce, by debunking the four most common misconceptions below. Here’s what you need to know.
MISCONCEPTION #1: IF MY SPOUSE CHEATED ON ME, THEY WILL AUTOMATICALLY GET LESS PARENTING TIME.
Illinois courts take into account various factors when making custody and parenting time decisions. All of these factors include the best interests of the child. While it can be easy to assume that infidelity will sway the court’s decision, it is important to understand that this is not necessarily the case.
The court is more likely to focus on issues like communication and the child’s relationship with each parent. Working with a professional family law attorney will help you in the long run. The court’s ultimate decision is in the best interests of your child.
MISCONCEPTION #2: THE MOTHER ALWAYS GETS PRIMARY CUSTODY OF THE CHILDREN
In Illinois, the court will consider various factors to determine what is in the child’s best interests. Some of the factors that the court may consider include:
- The child’s age and physical and emotional needs
- The living situation of each parent, including the child’s relationship with each parent and the home environment
- Each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs, including financial and emotional support
- The child’s adjustment to their school, community, and home life
- The mental and physical health of the parents and the child
- Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse in the household
In addition, the court may consider the child’s wishes if they are mature enough to express them. This generally applies to older children or teenagers, who may have a better understanding of their preferences and needs. It’s important to note that parents can create their custody agreement, which the court will review to ensure that it is fair and in the child’s best interests. This can be a less adversarial approach and can give parents more control over the outcome of their custody arrangement.
Custody decisions are complex and require careful consideration of various factors. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney can help you understand your options and make informed decisions about your child’s custody arrangement.
MISCONCEPTION #3: I WILL BE DIVORCED SOON AFTER I FILE.
In Illinois, an uncontested divorce can be granted without a waiting period as long as residency requirements are met. However, a contested divorce typically requires a six-month waiting period before it can be finalized. The duration of the divorce process in Illinois varies. Here are some of the potential factors:
- The complexity of the case
- The willingness of the parties to cooperate
- The court’s caseload.
It’s important to note that the process can take longer than six months. Especially if there are significant disagreements between the parties involved. However, working with a family law attorney can help expedite the process and ensure your rights and interests are protected. An attorney can also guide options such as mediation or collaborative divorce to help resolve disputes more efficiently.
MISCONCEPTION #4: I HAVE TO GO TO COURT TO GET DIVORCED.
While some divorces may be litigated in court, alternative methods of dispute resolution are also available. These methods are used to reach a divorce settlement without the need for a court trial. Divorce Mediation is one of the most commonly used methods.
Mediation involves working with a neutral third-party mediator who can help facilitate negotiations between you and your spouse to settle. This approach includes working with your attorney, financial experts, or a mental health professional, to reach a mutually beneficial settlement. Overall, mediation can potentially be a less expensive and less time-consuming approach than going to court.
Dealing with family law matters like divorce, child custody and parenting time can be emotionally and mentally challenging. However, having a clear understanding of the facts can make the process less daunting. If you are going through a family law issue, it’s important to consult with an experienced family law attorney. They can help guide you through the process and protect your rights.
At Masters Law Group, our award-winning attorneys and law firm have a long history of helping clients successfully navigate through various family law issues. Our firm’s attorneys are ready to skillfully advocate for your position and provide your voice when you need it most..