When you are going through a divorce, it often feels like everyone has an opinion of what actually goes on during the process. Dont rely on family and friends for legal advice. No two cases are exactly the same and each case presents its own unique facts and challenges. Speak with one of our attorneys to get the facts! Some of the more common myths below:

Myth #1 – There an advantage to being the first one to file!

No, not true. The first person to file is called a Petitioner and the second person against them in the case is called a Respondent. There is no advantage to being the Petitioner, nor is there an advantage to being the Respondent. In Illinois both parties have equal rights and responsibilities. The Judge does not view the Petitioner as the good guy or the Respondent as a bad guy.

Myth #2 - The children will get to decide for themselves which parent to live with !

Not true. The Judge presiding over your case will actually determine the primary residence of the children and whether or not to grant the parents joint decision-making responsibilities or grant those responsibilities to only one parent. Children’s wishes are only a factor that judges consider in making that determination but are not the only factor. The older the children and the more precocious they are, the more the judge is likely to consider their preferences.

Myth #3 – The cheating spouse will lose all rights in a divorce !

This is not true. Illinois is a no-fault state, meaning when deciding on the division of assets, Judges do not get to consider the parties’ “bad conduct.”

Myth #4 - Women will always receive Maintenance or Alimony in the event of a divorce.

This is not the case. Maintenance is most often paid to compensate a woman who has left the job market for a long period of time in order to have and raise children. If the woman is employed or has the ability of obtaining a job and becoming self-supporting, then she is not likely to receive any maintenance. Also, in some cases, men receive maintenance from the women.

Myth #5 - In Illinois, the assets of the parties are divided equally, right down the middle.

Not so. Illinois is an equitable distribution state – not an equal one. This means that assets are divided “fairly.” And in some instances, a Judge will divide the marital assets 60/40 or 70/30. That is typically determined by examining

factors such as the duration of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse to the marriage, the earning capacities of each party and other factors.

Myth #6 – If I have joint ‘custody’ and shared parenting time schedule, I won’t have to pay any child support !

Not true. Courts look to award child support to the primary residential parent. Even when the parenting schedule is equal or close to equal, often the less financially well-to-do-parent will receive child support from the other parent.