When you think of divorce, you might picture a hostile, bitter court battle that involves endless hearings, constant fighting and protracted litigation. While this may be true for some, many other divorcing couples are able to move through the process more smoothly through compromise. Fortunately, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act does allow – and even encourages – parties to come to an agreement on the primary issues in a divorce case. In doing so, you experience numerous benefits by maintaining more control over your divorce.
However, while entering into a divorce settlement agreement certainly has its advantages, there are still legal challenges. You could adversely affect your financial interests or relationships with children if you make critical errors when negotiating, drafting the paperwork and entering the necessary documents in court. Count on a Chicago divorce attorney to assist with the process, but some background information may also be useful.

Issues You Can Resolve Through a Divorce Settlement Agreement:

Parties can work out an agreement regarding any of the main issues involved with a divorce case, including:

  • Asset Division: Your agreement can cover which party will retain items of real estate and personal property, including homes, bank accounts, retirement benefits and many other assets. It’s even possible to designate which items are marital or separate where the lines may be blurred. Keep in mind you’ll also need to address debt acquired during the marriage and how it may encumber any of your assets.
  • Alimony: You can make arrangements regarding spousal support in an Illinois divorce settlement agreement – including the amount and duration. Unless the alimony arrangement is egregiously unfair, the court will usually not disturb it.
  • Issues Related to Minor Children: Though you must comply with the child’s best interest’s standard, your agreement can address significant decision-making and parenting time – commonly known as custody and visitation. The judge will carefully review the agreement and apply the statutory best interest’s factors before approving your agreement.

Benefits of a Divorce Settlement:

There are multiple advantages to resolving your divorce by agreement rather than a heated court battle. You’ll save money by not having to go before a judge to get a decision on every minute detail. It’s possible to wrap up the entire divorce process within a few months instead of years. Plus:

  • You have the benefit of certainty and creativity when you compromise on divorce-related issues. You retain control instead of putting your case in the hands of rigid divorce laws, which can lead to a surprising, unfavorable result.
  • You can preserve an amicable relationship with your ex-spouse, which is especially important when you have minor children.

Consult with a Chicago Divorce Lawyer About Settlement Agreements

If you have questions about divorce settlement agreements and your rights, please contact Michael C. Craven to schedule a consultation regarding your circumstances. Our team is prepared to advise you during negotiations, help with drafting an agreement, and enter the necessary orders in court. You can reach our Chicago, IL office by calling (312) 621-5234 or via our website.