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What is the Illinois Divorce Process?

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What Do I Need For a Divorce in Illinois

Going through a divorce is difficult, and there are many changes that you and your family will need to make as you work to terminate your marriage. It is important to understand the steps involved in the divorce process so you can be prepared for what lies ahead. By working with an experienced attorney, you will know what to expect and what requirements you must meet.

A. Traub & Associates has your back throughout the entire divorce process--we will provide you with skilled legal guidance and representation to make sure your rights are upheld and that you achieve a favorable outcome. Our family law attorneys can help keep you informed at every stage of your divorce proceedings so that you know what to expect next.

Filing a Petition for Divorce

Over time, a couple's relationship may fall apart, and they may eventually decide to separate. However, the legal process of divorce does not start until one spouse files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with their county court.

In Illinois, "irreconcilable differences" is the only valid grounds for divorce, so a divorce petition does not need to mention any other reasons why a couple's marriage is ending. It will simply state that the relationship cannot be fixed, and ending the marriage would be the best choice for all parties involved. The divorce petition may also request temporary relief regarding matters such as asset division, child support, parenting time, or spousal support.

When one spouse files a petition for divorce in court, the other spouse will be served with the paperwork, and they will have 30 days to respond. If they do not respond within that time frame, the court may grant a default judgment, and the judge may approve the requests for temporary relief that were included in the divorce petition.

Conducting Discovery

Once divorcing spouses have started the legal proceedings to dissolve their marriage, they are required by law to fully disclose all relevant financial information to one another. This entails providing detailed accounts of each spouse's income, any marital property or separate property they own, monthly expenses, and debts owed, among other vital details. Furthermore, either party or their attorney may also request information from the opposing side as needed. If necessary, subpoenas or depositions can be utilized in order to obtain crucial documents related to the case at hand.

Negotiating a Settlement

During the divorce process, spouses may try to work together to resolve the legal issues involved. They can do this by negotiating between themselves and communicating through their attorneys or by using mediation.

If either party wants the court to make decisions about how matters will be handled while the divorce is pending, that party may file a petition for temporary relief. These requests may address issues such as possession and use of the couple's family home, parenting time schedules, and spousal support payments made by one party to the other. If a judge makes decisions about temporary relief, both parties must follow any court orders that are issued, and these orders will remain in effect until the divorce has been finalized.

Finalizing a Divorce Settlement

If a couple is able to agree on all matters that must be addressed in their divorce, a marital settlement agreement will be drawn up. The spouses will attend a court hearing where the judge will review the proposed settlement, and if the terms of the agreement are accepted, then the divorce will be completed. The judge will sign off on a final divorce decree that both spouses will be required to follow going forward.

Proceeding to Trial

A trial will be held if a couple cannot reach an agreement on some or all of the issues in their case. During the trial, the lawyer for each party will present different types of evidence, call and cross-examine witnesses, and make arguments explaining why they believe the judge should rule in their client's favor. The judge will make the final decisions about all matters that need to be resolved, and they will issue a final divorce judgment.

Post-Decree Matters

After a divorce is finalized, the law requires both spouses to follow the terms of the divorce judgment or decree. If circumstances later change for either party, they can ask for a post-divorce modification. If an ex-spouse does not follow their requirements as detailed in the divorce decree or judgment, the other ex-spouse may request that the court take actions to make them obey the terms of the divorce or charge them with contempt of court.

Contact a Schaumburg Divorce Lawyer

The process of ending a marriage can be complex and time-consuming, which is why you need to have an experienced attorney representing you during these proceedings. Fortunately, you do not have to approach legal matters alone. At A. Traub & Associates, our attorneys are here to provide the representation you need, and we will work with you every step of the way to make sure you can get through your divorce successfully. Contact our firm by calling 630-426-0196 and arranging a confidential consultation.

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