Tag Archives: Illinois divorce process

IL DIVORCE LAWYERDivorce is a complex process and it is not uncommon for the people going through it to have a lot of questions. It is essential to get an answer to these so that you fully understand the divorce process and ensure your rights are protected. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about divorce and family law in Illinois.

How Long is the Separation Period in Illinois?

Illinois does not have a mandatory separation period. If you or your spouse does not agree to the divorce, you may have to live separately and apart from them for six months. After that time, the court will assume that there are irreconcilable differences. You do not have to physically separate from your spouse, but you must live independently of them. If you and your spouse do agree to the divorce, you can divorce immediately.

Can We Settle the Divorce Out of Court?

Many divorce cases do settle before they go to trial. If you and your spouse can agree to all terms, you do not have to proceed to trial. However, you will still have to appear in court at least once so a judge can approve the final terms of the divorce. While you and your spouse both have a right to be at the final divorce hearing, but only one of you is required to appear.

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IL divorce lawyerIf you are considering divorce, it is important to work with an Illinois divorce lawyer that can help you through the process. Many people find that they have to meet with a few divorce lawyers before finding the one that is right for their case.

To help you narrow down your list faster, and to ensure you find the lawyer that is a good fit, it is important to prepare for your initial consultation. This may include bringing any relevant documents, such as financial statements, as well as a list of questions you want to ask. In addition to any questions you may have about the specifics of your case, below are some additional questions you should ask.

Is Family Law Your Specialty?

Family law encompasses many different factors. A divorce case involves more than just ending a marriage. Divorce lawyers have to understand every aspect of divorce, including child custody and child support, property division, and more. A lawyer that focuses on family law will know all the ins and outs so they can appropriately advise on your case.

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IL divorce lawyerSpouses often know that their marriage is crumbling and that they are likely headed for divorce. When this is the case, you may wonder whether you should file for divorce first and if there are any advantages in doing so. The family courts will not take into consideration which spouse filed first when making decisions on child custody, property division, and more. However, there are some advantages you will gain if you are the first to file.

Retain Control

During a divorce, there is so much that is outside of a person’s control. By filing first, you take some of that control back. You can make arguments within the complaint about any wrongdoing done by your spouse, which leaves them with the responsibility of responding to those arguments. You can also choose which jurisdiction to file in, which is particularly advantageous if your spouse lives far away at the time of filing.

Preparation Is Easier

When filing for divorce first, it provides you with the necessary time to prepare, which can give you a financial advantage. Preparing for divorce involves collecting important financial documents, such as life insurance policies, banking accounts, titles to property, and more.

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IL divorce lawyerA collaborative divorce is one in which each party agrees to come to an agreement outside of the courtroom. However, a collaborative divorce has some significant differences from mediation, another form of alternative dispute resolution. If you and your spouse are considering collaborative divorce, it is important to understand how the process works.

Choosing the Right Lawyers

During a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse will only meet with each other and each of your attorneys. It is essential that you work with a lawyer that understands how the collaborative divorce process works. Collaborative lawyers have special skills, including conflict management and guiding negotiations. If the collaborative divorce process does not work and you have to enter litigation, your lawyer will not be able to represent you, so it is important that your lawyer is just as committed to the process as you are.

Professionals Involved

Unlike mediation, there is no neutral third party involved in a collaborative divorce that helps you and your spouse come to an agreement. However, professionals are sometimes called in to help with the process. These professionals may include a parenting allocation evaluator that can advise on child custody decisions or appraisers and accountants that can help with property division matters. Although these professionals come with an added cost, they can still save you money because you and your spouse do not have to hire experts on your own, but can share in the cost during collaborative divorce.

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IL divorce lawyerWhen getting a divorce, many couples think it is going to involve a lengthy and bitter courtroom battle. However, this is often not the case. Many couples choose to settle their divorce through mediation. Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution in which the two spouses meet with a neutral third-party, the mediator. During these meetings, the mediator attempts to bring the couple to a mutual agreement on all terms of the divorce. The process requires compromise on the part of each spouse, but there are many advantages to the process, which are listed below.

Mediation Is Faster

When going through litigation to get a divorce, the couple is at the mercy of the court’s schedule. That, along with the fact that trials are often lengthy, makes litigated divorces take much longer than those that are settled during mediation. While a litigated divorce may take several months to a year to settle, mediation can involve just a few sessions that take place over the course of several weeks.

Mediation Is Less Expensive

Generally speaking, mediation is cheaper than going through litigation for divorce. Mediation does not involve fees such as court costs and the fact that it is a faster process than going to trial typically means that mediation is cheaper than going to court.

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