The best Chicago divorce attorneys use excellent judgment, discretion and a well-thought out strategy. They apply attention to detail and good timing. In this post, we are going to discuss the best divorce timing.
The Risks of Delaying Divorce
Waiting too long before preparing and filing for divorce can be a major mistake. Of course, deciding to divorce should not be a rash decision. But delay can seriously weaken a party’s legal and financial positions in a Chicago divorce.
Allocation of Parental Responsibilities (“Child Custody” and “Visitation”)
When the parties have minor children, prolonged conflict can negatively impact the terms allocating parental responsibilities between the parents. Delay can provide more opportunities for fighting between spouses. The best Chicago divorce attorneys help their clients strengthen their case while also providing reality checks, when needed.
If the parents are unable to make joint decisions regarding the child, it is likely that the court might award decision-making responsibility to only one parent. One parent may be in charge of all significant decisions regarding the child or each parent may be in charge of certain categories of decisions regarding the child. One of the factors for courts to consider is “the ability of the parents to cooperate to make decisions, or the level of conflict between the parties that may affect their ability to share decision-making”. 750 ILCS 5/602.5(c)(4). The prolonged tension and uncertainty in an unhappy marriage can be very detrimental to children and wearing on the parties themselves.
Delay may also allow a spouse to reduce his/her earnings, become unemployed, hide assets, and increase debts. There are ways to uncover and recover hidden assets. However, there is not a guarantee that all hidden assets will be uncovered. Business valuators can assess if a spouse has intentionally reduced the value of a business and/or the spouse’s compensation. But, it takes time and money to try to undo this type of aggressive divorce planning. Thus, it is better to not provide opportunities for it in the first place.
The best Chicago divorce attorneys advise their clients about their options and the possible risks and benefits. Poor timing can turn a divorce in which maintenance (“alimony”) would not have been an issue into a case with high-stakes maintenance claims.