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Rolling Meadows Lawyer Explains the Illinois Divorce Process

Des Plaines divorce lawyer petition discovery settlement

Family Law Attorneys for Divorce Cases in Mt. Prospect and Palatine

If you have chosen to end your marriage, you may feel overwhelmed with the many changes that will need to be made to your life and the legal issues you must address. During this time, it is important to understand the steps that are followed throughout the divorce process. By working with an experienced attorney, you can be prepared for the challenges you may face and the requirements you will need to meet.

At A. Traub & Associates, our family law attorneys can provide you with guidance and legal representation throughout the divorce process, working to protect your rights and help you achieve a positive outcome. We can help you understand the best way to approach each stage of your divorce case.

The Divorce Petition

A couple's relationship may break down gradually, and spouses may choose to separate while they determine whether their marriage can be repaired. However, the legal process of divorce does not officially begin until one spouse files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This petition can be filed in the county court where either spouse resides.

Since "irreconcilable differences" is the only grounds for divorce recognized in Illinois, a divorce petition does not need to specify a reason for the end of a couple's marriage. It will simply state that the relationship has broken down and is beyond repair. It will also contain requests for temporary relief, in which a spouse will ask for decisions to be made about issues such as the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, or property division, and these decisions will remain in effect while the divorce is pending.

After a spouse files a divorce petition, it will be served to the other spouse. That spouse will have 30 days to file a response to the petition. If they fail to do so, the court may enter a default judgment granting the petitioner's requests for temporary relief. 

Discovery

Once the divorce proceedings have begun, spouses are required to make a full financial disclosure to each other. This will include detailed information about the income each spouse earns, the value of the property they own, their ongoing expenses and debts, and any other relevant details. The parties and/or their attorneys may also request information from each other, and if necessary, they may use subpoenas or depositions to obtain documents, testimony, or evidence relevant to the case.

Negotiations or Mediation

As the spouses work to resolve the various legal issues involved in dissolving their marriage, they may attempt to work together to reach agreement on these matters. This can be done through negotiations between the spouses and their attorneys, or through mediation.

While working to resolve the outstanding issues, either party may file petitions for temporary relief, asking the court to make decisions about how matters will be handled while the divorce is pending. These requests may address issues such as who will live in the marital home, the time that children will spend with each parent, or whether one party will pay financial support to the other. When a judge makes decisions about temporary relief, a court order will be issued that both parties will be required to follow until the divorce has been finalized. 

Settlement or Trial

If the spouses are able to reach an agreement on all outstanding issues, a marital settlement agreement will be created. They will attend a court hearing where this settlement will be reviewed by the judge, and if the settlement is approved, the divorce will be finalized, and a divorce decree will be issued.

If a couple is unable to agree about some or all issues, a trial will be held. During this trial, both parties' attorneys may present evidence and make arguments on their clients' behalf, and the judge will make a decision about the outstanding issues. At the conclusion of the trial, a divorce judgment will be issued.

Post-Divorce Modifications or Enforcement

Following the completion of the divorce process, both spouses will be required by law to follow the terms of the divorce decree or judgment. If either party's circumstances change in the future, they may request a modification of the divorce order. If an ex-spouse does not meet their court-ordered obligations, the other party may take legal action to compel them to follow the terms of the divorce or to have them held in contempt of court.

Contact an Arlington Heights Divorce Attorney

The divorce process can be lengthy and complicated, and in order to navigate it successfully, it is crucial to have a skilled legal advocate on your side. Our attorneys can provide you with the representation you need, helping you meet your obligations and working with you to reach a positive outcome to your case. Contact us today at 847-749-4182 to arrange a confidential consultation. We assist with family law cases in Palatine, Hoffman Estates, Rolling Meadows, Long Grove, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mt. Prospect, Des Plaines, Schaumburg, Wheeling, Elk Grove Village, Inverness, and throughout Northwest Cook County.

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