Category Archives: Family Law

Hinsdale Divorce LawyersFor spouses who have begun the divorce process, the road ahead can seem long and incomprehensible. The many stages, endless negotiations, and the need to decipher legalese can be challenging and frustrating. Although you may be familiar with the process of filing for divorce and understand what it means to negotiate, there is one stage of divorce that stumps many people: Discovery. In this blog, we will cover some important facts about discovery so you know what to expect when it is time for yours. 

Most Divorces Do Not Have a Discovery Phase

If you have been stressing over the discovery process, take a breath - you may not even need to go through it. Discovery is reserved for contested divorces where spouses dispute the facts. Because Illinois family courts encourage divorcing couples to resolve their differences through mediation or collaborative divorce, most couples can come to an agreement without needing the discovery process at all. In a non-contested divorce, spouses will freely share information with their attorney and both parties will agree as to the facts of the case. 

Discovery to Meant to Facilitate Negotiations

Discovery allows both spouses and their attorneys to get the evidence they need so they can address disputed issues transparently and fairly. Although spouses may resist sharing important information, discovery makes it possible to get necessary documents because there are legal consequences for failing to comply. Most of the discovery process is about finances, and once both parties have a complete picture of each other’s financial situation, fair negotiations can proceed. 

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DuPage County Divorce LawyerMany people believe that the hardest part about getting divorced is making that final decision. But once you have decided to get a divorce in Illinois, the process still looms before you. What can you expect? Is there anything you can do to prepare yourself? Fortunately, there are answers to these questions. A proficient attorney can help you set clear and realistic expectations for your divorce, and there are many things you can do to get ready. 

Ten Ways to Prepare For Divorce in Illinois 

  1. Find a divorce attorney - The first thing every divorcing spouse should do is make sure they have a great attorney they feel comfortable with. Attorneys should respect clients’ priorities while working realistically within the law.

  2. Decide on a strategy - Even couples who struggle to get along can benefit from alternative dispute resolution strategies like mediation and collaborative divorce. Illinois family courts discourage couples from expensive and drawn-out litigation, only using it as a last resort. 

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DuPage County Family Law AttorneyDivorce is never easy, but a divorce that seems to drag on interminably can be exhausting and expensive. Couples getting divorced in Illinois generally want their divorce to move as quickly as possible so they can resolve important issues and get on with life. Unfortunately, it is difficult to know exactly how long a divorce will take; many different issues can affect the speed and efficiency of the divorce process. However, if you are looking for a sense of how long your divorce might take, the following information may be helpful. 

Is There a Waiting Period in Illinois? 

If both spouses agree to an uncontested divorce, there is no waiting period. As long as a couple meets the residency requirements, meaning at least one spouse has lived in Illinois for at least 90 days, an uncontested divorce can be completed as soon as all issues are agreed upon. If a couple shares children, they must have lived in Illinois for at least six months. If the divorce is contested, there may be a waiting period for up to six months. 

Filing for Divorce and Serving Divorce Papers

Getting a divorce started takes some time. After one spouse files for divorce, a court clerk provides them with a case number and a judge is assigned to the case. Then a summons must be served to the spouse who did not file; this can take several weeks. Depending on how backed up the court system is in the county where the divorce is happening, getting an initial court date scheduled can take anywhere from four weeks to several months. Both spouses must attend the initial hearing. 

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DuPage County High Conflict Divorce LawyerDivorce is a notoriously challenging experience for everyone involved, especially if one spouse is trying to escape an unhealthy or abusive relationship involving domestic violence. Unfortunately, sometimes a spouse continues unhealthy behaviors by stalking, harassing, or intimidating their future ex. This may be in an effort to manipulate their partner into staying, or it may be an inappropriate effort to monitor and “catch” the partner in misdeeds. 

Whatever the reason, it is not okay for one spouse to make the other spouse feel uncomfortable or unsafe during divorce proceedings. If you are in this situation and do not know how to make it stop, read on. 

Harassing and Stalking is Illegal in Illinois

Illinois law defines harassment as behavior, including messages and use of language, that is obscene, lewd, or immoral and done with the intent to offend. Examples of harassment may include: 

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DuPage County Property Division LawyerOne of the most important parts of a divorce is the division of marital assets. Spouses are bound by Illinois law to be transparent and forthcoming about their individual and shared finances so they can negotiate fairly and come to an equitable resolution, as required by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. 

When a spouse is deceptive and attempts to hide property, savings, income, investments, or other assets, effective action is required to investigate and reveal the missing information. A competent Illinois divorce attorney can help you track down missing assets before a judgment or help you appeal your divorce decree if you found out your spouse was hiding assets after the divorce was finalized. 

Finding Hidden Assets During Active Divorce Proceedings 

One of the first and most important parts of the divorce process is a period known as “discovery,” wherein both spouses’ attorneys send and request information that reveals their clients’ full financial situation. An experienced attorney will review these documents and, if there is suspicion that one spouse is being less than fully transparent, hire additional experts such as forensic accounts to pursue unexplained transactions or unidentified assets. Attorneys can write questions in interrogatories that spouses must answer, and even request an oral deposition to force spouses to testify under oath. Because the consequences for lying under oath are serious, this can be an effective strategy for getting a dishonest spouse to admit to having more assets than they initially revealed. 

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