Agreement, maintenance fees, apartment rent

Aug 8, 2012 by

Question: 

Can I simply not agree to any of the settlements and not sign, therefore no divorce? Once separated must the husband pay for housing for the spouse and children till the divorce is settled? Can a wife be entitled to monthly payments besides the settlement if she endured mental abuse throughout the marriage? (IL)

State: 
Illinois

Answer: 

Even if you do not sign the divorce papers, the divorce will still proceed. It will go forward without any input from your side and all decisions will probably be decided in favor of the other party. You will have no say in the split of property or the amounts of support awarded and that is not usually a desirable outcome. The court can issue temporary orders for support while you are separated and the divorce is ongoing. You should attend any support hearings you are notified of unless you like other people deciding your fate without your input. Divorce courts do not usually award money as punishment and compensation for incidents of past marital difficulties even if someone alleges mental abuse. The court is more concerned with future incidents and how they will affect the parties involved. A spouse can claim there was mental cruelty or abuse present in the marriage during the divorce, but that does not make it a fact or guarantee that the court will agree with it. You need to have input in your own divorce if you want your side of the situation to be considered by the court. Otherwise, they have nothing to go on but the testimony of your spouse. Mental abuse is a relative term and there can be big differences of opinion as to what it is. Your spouse may consider listening to the sound of your voice as abusive, the court will probably not.

The amount of paperwork required to complete a divorce these days can make the experience seem more like a clerical task than a legal one. At every step along the way there are various affidavits and legal documents that need your attention. The papers start coming your way as soon as you begin the divorce process and continue even after the deed is done. Needless to say, all of the documents in a divorce are necessary and important components of the entire divorce action and can’t really be ignored or put off. Many of those forms involve financial statements and records and it is critical that all the financial paperwork in a divorce is completed accurately and in a timely manner. – The Divorce.com Team

Wendy Jaffe and Divorce.com can only provide general information about divorce. DO NOT RELY ON MS. JAFFE’S ADVICE ALONE. Before acting on information provided by Ms. Jaffe or by Divorce.com, talk to an attorney first about your particular facts and the law of your state. By submitting your question to Divorce.com, you are not creating an attorney/client relationship with Ms. Jaffe or with any of the other attorneys listed on this site.

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