An uncontested divorce could take months to finalize. A contested divorce could take much longer. Despite knowing they want to end their marriage, a couple cannot just go their separate ways. The legal process is designed to ensure that assets are divided equitably and Illinois children live in situations that are in their best interests. Although separating may give unhappy spouses a sense of freedom, once the divorce is filed, both parties will have some restrictions placed on what they're able to do until the divorce is final.
Couples who are in the midst of a divorce may not be able to spend money on anything but necessities. Even if one person believes he or she solely owns an asset, he or she cannot sell or dispose of any property until the divorce has been finalized. If a divorcing individual is caught making excessive credit card charges, draining bank accounts or selling property, he or she may have to reimburse his or her soon-to-be ex.
Parents may have some restrictions on where they can take their children. To prevent one parent from keeping the children away from the other, a court may not allow the kids to leave the country during a divorce. Unless both parents agree, and that agreement is in writing, divorcing people may not even be able to leave the state with their children. Doing so without approval could make a custody dispute even more complicated.
Divorcing individuals should consult with their attorneys prior to making any significant changes to their financial or living situations. Some moves might be acceptable with approval, but others, such as selling a large asset or relocating children across the country, could make an already tense situation worse. An experienced divorce lawyer may advise a client to wait until he or she is able to negotiate the terms of the divorce before trying to raise cash or relocate.