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What Happens During a Contested Divorce in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

contested, Rolling Meadows divorce lawyersWhen a married couple divorces, there may be many issues that they need to resolve before the divorce is finalized. If the couple has a child together, they may need to determine how to share child custody and visitation, technically called the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time in Illinois. They may own a home, vehicles, and other assets that will need to be divided. Many divorcing couples must also make decisions about child support or spousal support.

If a divorcing couple is able to reach an agreement about these and other divorce-related matters through negotiation or mediation, they will generally enter into an uncontested divorce. If they cannot reach an agreement without court intervention, they enter into a contested divorce.

The Basics of Contested Divorce

There are many reasons that a couple might not be able to resolve divorce issues without going to court. In some cases, a spouse simply refuses to participate in negotiation or good faith discussion about the terms of the divorce. During a contested divorce, the court hears arguments from each party and then makes decisions about the unresolved issues on behalf of the couple. The court’s decisions are based on the applicable laws and unique circumstances of the case. It is very important to hire an experienced divorce attorney when undergoing a contested divorce. Your attorney can help ensure that your rights are not violated and that you receive a fair divorce settlement. He or she will advocate on your behalf and protect your best interests.

Steps of an Illinois Contested Divorce

If you are planning to pursue a contested divorce, you may completely unsure of what to expect. Illinois divorces are all unique, but there are certain steps typically involved in the contested divorce process. These steps include, but are not always limited to:

  • One spouse, called the petitioner, files for divorce using a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  • The other spouse, called the respondent, formally responds to the petition.
  • Each spouse hires a divorce lawyer.
  • Relevant information about the unsettled divorce issues is collected during “discovery.”
  • The spouses and their lawyers attend pre-trial motions and hearings.
  • The parties negotiate the unresolved issues.
  • Settlements are proposed and discussed.

If the spouses cannot agree to a settlement, they will attend a court trial which results in a formal divorce decree that is issued by the court.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Divorce Lawyer

Contested divorces are much more involved than uncontested divorces. If you think that your divorce will be contested, speak to an experienced Schaumburg family law attorney from Cosley Law Office to learn more about what to expect during the divorce process. Schedule a free, confidential initial consultation by calling our office at 847-253-3100 today.



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