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Posted on in Divorce

Lombard divorce attorneysDivorce can touch the lives of people of any race, gender, income level, or age. Some marriages that seemed doomed to failure from the beginning end up flourishing while other marriages that seemed like perfect matches end up dissolving. Researchers have known for years now that there are certain demographics of people who are statistically more likely to get divorced than others. For example, those who marry very young or wait until their late 30s or longer to marry are more likely to get divorced than those who get married in their 20s. It is also fairly well-known that women are more likely to initiate divorce than men are. For non-married couples, however, men and women are equally likely to end the relationship.

Women More Likely Than Men to Be Unhappy in Their Marriage

A survey conducted by the American Sociological Association found that in heterosexual couples, women start the divorce process or first seek a divorce 70 percent of the time. The study’s lead author, Michael Rosenfeld, theorizes that women may be more likely to initiate divorces because they are more likely to be dissatisfied with the quality of the relationship than men are. Rosenfeld said that these results support the idea that some women experience heterosexual marriage as oppressive or unfulfilling. He explains further, “I think that marriage as an institution has been a little bit slow to catch up with expectations for gender equality. Wives still take their husbands’ surnames…husbands still expect their wives to do the bulk of the housework and the bulk of the childcare.”

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DuPage County divorce attorneysIn most types of court proceedings, there is a clear delineation between the plaintiff and the defendant. The plaintiff—sometimes called the claimant—is the party that has decided to take some sort of legal action against the defendant. In a personal injury case, for example, the plaintiff may have filed a lawsuit to recover financial compensation for injuries that he or she believes were caused by the defendant. Likewise, the plaintiff in criminal proceeding—the state—is seeking a judgment of guilt and criminal penalties against a defendant believed to have committed a crime. Technically, a divorce is no different: the spouse that files the divorce petition is considered the plaintiff, making the other spouse the defendant. But, does it really matter which spouse is which?

Different Terminology

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) is a comprehensive compilation of statutes that govern the divorce process in Illinois. The IMDMA generally avoids the use of the terms “plaintiff” and “defendant,” instead using the more neutral “petitioner” and “respondent” in most cases. This highlights the concept that divorce does not need to a highly contentious battle in which there are clear winners and losers.

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filing for divorce, filing first, Illinois divorce attorneyIn many cases, it is often clear that a marriage is over long before a petition for divorce has been filed. You may have come to that realization regarding your own relationship. However, filing for divorce may seem to be a drastic step and one that you may be hesitant to take, regardless of the condition of the marriage. Should you file first? Should you wait for your spouse? Does it really make a difference?

Depending on the specific circumstances of your situation, filing first will probably not make much of a difference in the outcome of your divorce. Your role during the process may change slightly based upon your status as the petitioner or the respondent, but the end result is likely to be effectually the same. You will have the same opportunities to present information to the court, in most cases, the factors considered under law make no reference to a party’s filing status.

Possible Exceptions

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