IL divorce lawyerMany DuPage County residents who are served with divorce papers already know that their spouse was planning to file for divorce, but some people are surprised. Regardless of whether you were expecting to be served with divorce papers or news of your spouse’s filing has come as a shock, it is critical to think about your next steps. Do you need to respond, and how quickly do you need to do so? Have you hired a divorce lawyer yet to work on your case? And what type of planning do you need to be doing in advance of a court hearing or family mediation? These are all important questions, and it is essential to discuss them with an Oakbrook Terrace family lawyer. Although the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) governs all divorces in the state, everyone will have a divorce case with its own set of facts. Accordingly, it will be important to make a plan that fits your needs.

In the meantime, the advocates at Farooqi & Husain want to provide you with some information about the general steps you should take after you have been served with divorce papers in Illinois.

Hire an Experienced DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

The first thing you should do after receiving divorce papers is to hire a DuPage County divorce lawyer who has experience handling divorce cases in your area and who has experience representing clients in cases with issues similar to your own. If you know, for example, that issues are likely to come up concerning the religious upbringing of your children when the court is making decisions about the allocation of parental responsibilities, you should seek advice from an attorney who regularly handles such cases. Similarly, if you have questions or concerns about the relationship between Islamic law and Illinois law in divorce cases, you should get in touch with an Islamic divorce attorney in DuPage County.

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IL divorce lawyerMany married couples in DuPage County opt for a legal separation instead of a divorce. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), a legal separation can allow spouses to live separate and apart without actually going through the legal process of divorce while still asking the court to determine issues like support and the allocation of parental responsibilities. There are many different reasons that spouses opt for a legal separation instead of a divorce. For many Muslim families, legal separation is preferable to divorce for religious reasons, but you may also have other motivations for seeking a legal separation instead of divorce. For instance, one of the spouses may need to rely on the other spouse’s health insurance for major treatment or care, or the spouses may be thinking about tax considerations.

Regardless of your initial reason for seeking a legal separation instead of a divorce, you might now be considering a divorce and you may be unsure about the steps you need to take to move forward. It is important to discuss the particular facts of your situation with a DuPage County family lawyer, but in the meantime, we can provide you with general information about moving from a legal separation to a divorce.

You Can File for Divorce After a Legal Separation

The IMDMA is clear that you can file for divorce even if you have a legal separation—you do not need to choose between a legal separation or a divorce with the understanding that the two are mutually exclusive. The IMDMA expressly states:

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IL divorce lawyerWe often work with families in the DuPage County Muslim community who have questions about the ways in which Islamic laws are both in conversation with and distinct from Illinois state laws concerning divorce, child custody, and related matters. One issue that often arises in general conversations about Islamic law and divorce is the options that are available to women who want to file for divorce. A recent study of Muslim women and Islamic divorce traditions discusses some of the assumptions that people make about women and Islam, and the various options that may be available to women who are religious and also want to get divorced.

If you are considering your options for divorce but have concerns about divorce in the Islamic tradition versus divorce under state law, one of our experienced Oakbrook Terrace divorce attorneys can speak with you today. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we are committed to serving the Muslim community in DuPage County and can discuss options with you.

Dilemmas of Religious Versus Secular Divorce

According to Anisa Buckley, the author of the study cited above, the Islamic tradition recognizes that both Muslim men and women are allowed to divorce. Yet in some community traditions, Islamic laws are interpreted in ways that allow men to divorce their wives unilaterally, while women must secure their husband’s consent. As such, in some situations, a Muslim woman could find herself fully able to obtain a secular divorce according to state law, but unable to obtain an Islamic divorce because her husband will not agree. In this way, Islamic divorce and secular divorce under state law run parallel to one another and largely do not impact one another.

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IL divorce lawyerSocial stigma has surrounded divorce for quite some time in many communities, especially earlier in the 20th century. Yet as divorce becomes normalized and more common, communities throughout DuPage County and across the country are beginning to recognize that stigma associated with divorce and divorced families can do more harm than good. Divorce has even become less stigmatized within Muslim immigrant communities as more people recognize that divorce can be the best option to lead a happy and meaningful life. We want to say more about changing attitudes toward divorce and how those shifting attitudes can benefit the DuPage County Muslim community.

In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns about divorce, an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney at Farooqi & Husain Law Office can discuss your options with you. We have years of experience serving Muslim families in the area and can speak with you about your case.

More Divorces Are Taking Place

Generally speaking, more people are getting divorced than they were even a couple of decades ago. In other words, divorce is becoming more common, which in turn leads to less stigma in general for divorced families. The rate of divorce in the U.S. has almost doubled since 1960. That data comes from the Rutgers University National Marriage Project. In total, about 50 percent of marriages today are likely to end in divorce. And the divorce rate has also risen in the Muslim community.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce is complicated and difficult for any family going through this process. Indeed, whether you have only been married for a short time and have no children from the marriage, or have been married for years and still have minor children together, divorce in DuPage County is never easy emotionally or financially. Yet Muslims in DuPage County who are thinking about Islamic divorce may need to consider additional complications. Divorces involving Shariah, or Islamic law, can make the process more complex, especially when the spouses were married outside the U.S. and are now seeking a divorce within the country. Approximately one out of every three Muslim marriages in America result in divorce. This number is lower than the national U.S. average, but it is still a sufficiently high percentage that necessitates additional thinking about Muslim divorces in America.

In the meantime, if you have questions about filing for divorce or how to handle complications for Muslims, an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer at Farooqi & Husain Law Office can help you. We have years of experience serving the DuPage County Muslim community with a wide variety of family law matters.

Having a Marriage Dissolved in Accordance with Islamic Law

For many Muslims in DuPage County and throughout the greater Chicago area, religion plays an important role, even if it is just a cultural role in the community. For example, weddings, funerals, and divorces are occasions for which Muslims want to abide by Islamic law, and, accordingly, if they want to get divorced, they will want to dissolve that marriage Islamically. For most Muslims in Oakbrook Terrace, this usually means getting a civil divorce decree that they can take to their imam in order to get an Islamic divorce certificate. But getting an Islamic divorce also typically means having dowries and other provisions of marriage contracts enforced. Since many Islamic marriages include a marriage contract with a dowry and other terms, the parties want to be sure that this is enforced upon divorce.

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