Having a Family Lawyer to represent you in court is important.
Equally important is how a party dresses and acts when they are in court, and when they talk about their case with the parties involved. That includes the judge, the lawyers and anyone else who is an interested party in that case.
It’s important to prepare before you attend court. Family Courts often hear many cases on the same day, so the time a party has to make their case is limited. Don’t be afraid to ask your Family Attorney to explain their thinking if they do not agree with your ideas or suggest there are steps involved that will strengthen your case.
Like most states, divorce usually fall into two categories in Illinois: Contested Divorce or Uncontested Divorce.
A Contested Divorce exists when the couple cannot agree on whether to divorce, the division of property, who should pay debts and whether spousal support should be paid as well as the amount. Many contested divorces center around child custody and support issues.
When a divorce isn’t contested, both parties usually agree on how they will end their marriage and how the children’s time and material possessions will be divided.
In some cases, one party files a Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage. The other part will be served with this divorce petition and will not respond. If no answer or response is filed, the court will make decisions based on what the party filing divorce says. It is very important to file an answer if you do not agree with the opposing party’s ideas on how everything will be divided.
To file for divorce in Illinois, you must have lived in the state for at least 90 days before the divorce will be granted.
There is no way to know exactly how long it will take to get a divorce. The length of time depends on many things. If both spouses can agree on how to settle issues in the divorce case, the process will be shorter. However, if both spouses cannot come to an agreement, the divorce process will take much longer and be more costly. Contested divorces can take more than 18 months to be resolved.
For more helpful information, please visit Illinois Legal Aid