Surviving Your Contested Divorce in Illinois

contested, Rolling Meadows divorce attorneyDivorces in Illinois can be either contested or uncontested. At the crux of any divorce are the issues of property and debt division, child custody or the allocation of parental responsibilities, and support/maintenance payments. When divorcing couples are able to come to an agreement about these issues, either on their own or through mediation, they can begin an uncontested divorce. Although every divorce involves at least some degree of disagreement, these disagreements do not always require court intervention. On the other hand, spouses who cannot come to an agreement on their own must undergo a contested divorce.

What Is a Contested Divorce?

Contested divorces are those in which spouses cannot reach a decision as to the terms of the divorce and must therefore go to trial. Contested divorces can be more expensive and time-consuming than uncontested divorces, so most experts suggest avoiding this route. However, in some cases, such as when one or both spouses are unwilling or unable to cooperate, a contested divorce is necessary.

Generally, a contested divorce involves the following steps:

  • Filing the petition for dissolution of marriage;
  • Responding to the petition;
  • Hiring a competent divorce attorney;
  • “Divorce discovery” which is the information-gathering process;
  • Pre-trial legal motions and hearings;
  • Negotiations and settlement proposals;
  • The court trial; and
  • Any appeals brought by a spouse.

The court will examine all of the issues related to the divorce and issue a final order which includes all of the judge’s verdicts. Spouses are expected to follow the instructions in the final divorce order. A spouse who disagrees with the outcome of a divorce trial does have the right to appeal, however, appeals are not always successful.

Dealing with the Emotional Burden of a Contested Divorce

Although every divorce has the potential to be emotionally taxing, contested divorces are often especially burdensome. Mental health experts suggest that those going through a contested or high-conflict divorce practice a high degree of self-care during the separation and divorce process. Accepting your feelings as they are and giving yourself permission to grieve the situation can be helpful. Additionally, experts suggest sticking to a schedule, getting regular exercise, eating healthy, and engaging in hobbies during stressful divorces. Many people find that a divorce support group or reaching out to friends, family, or community members can help them manage the emotional burden of a challenging divorce as well.

Contact an Arlington Heights Family Law Attorney

For more information about Illinois divorce law, contact the dedicated Rolling Meadows divorce lawyers at the Cosley Law Office. Call us today at 847-253-3100 to set up your completely cost-free initial consultation.



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