Four out of 10 marriages end in divorce, with the average marriage that ends in divorce lasting seven years. As such, it is not uncommon for a married couple to come to the conclusion that their differences are irreparable, and that divorce is the best option. However, some divorces come as a surprise to one of the spouses, previously having assumed that everything was either fine, or the conflict within the marriage was manageable and possible to work through. Whether you were caught completely off guard or you suspected that divorce would be the inevitable conclusion of your marriage, an experienced divorce attorney can help you through the complex and stressful process of divorce, and protect your interests along the way.
The First Step of Divorce: Filing a Petition to Terminate the Marriage
Chances are that your spouse will file a petition for divorce (Petition for Dissolution of Marriage) with the court since he or she was the initiator of the divorce. In order to get a divorce in Illinois, at least one of the parties must have resided in Illinois for at least 90 days before filing, and if you and your spouse have children together, they must have lived in Illinois for at least six months, according to 750 ILCS 5/ Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.
The next step of divorce is requesting temporary orders, if necessary. Spouses often need to figure out different living arrangements and parenting responsibilities during the six months or more that it takes a divorce to finalize. A temporary order may involve creating a parenting plan, child support, or spousal support for temporary maintenance....