The 11 Stages of Divorce in Chicago That You Must Know About
What is divorce?
Divorce is the process of
ending your marriage.
can only be achieved through the
When the court issues an
Order for Dissolution of Marriage, you will no longer be married.
What is annulment?
differs from annulment. Annulment is the legal process of proving that a
What are the requirements for getting a divorce?
laws require that certain minimum requirements must be satisfied before an
Illinois divorce court
can enter an
Order for Dissolution of Marriage
The applicable requirements depend on which one of
two (2) different routes are used to achieve an
The first route
is through pleading “fault” on the part of your spouse in your
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
Illinois divorce statutes list 11 grounds for fault.
to review the applicable Illinois divorce statute.)
is through pleading “irreconcilable differences” in your
for Dissolution of Marriage. If you use the route of “irreconcilable differences,” one of two
additional requirements must be satisfied you and your spouse must have lived separate
and apart continuously for a 6-month period and both of you must have
agreed to use this route,
OR you and your spouse must have lived separate and apart continuously for
a 2-year period.
What issues are addressed in an Illinois divorce action?
The following issues are addressed in an Illinois divorce action: (i) the
official ending of the marriage, (ii) property division , (iii) spousal
maintenance – formerly known as "alimony" , (iv) child
custody , and (v) child support
What are the steps involved in Illinois divorce proceedings?
Following are the usual steps, which can vary depending on the specific
circumstances of your Illinois divorce case.
11 STAGES OF DIVORCE IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
STEP 1: Determine whether
divorce is the best option for you. Consider all of your alternatives. Talk to
your spouse, friends, counselor or therapist, family members, religious
or spiritual advisor, attorney, mentor, etc. Divorce is a drastic measure.
We believe it should be avoided if reasonably possible. Before moving
forward with your possible divorce, take some time to consider what you
and your spouse can do to try to save your marriage (counseling, etc.).
STEP 2: Meet with a
lawyer who handles divorces in Cook County and Lake County, Illinois. Enter into a written engagement and fee agreement with your
Illinois divorce attorney. Your
Illinois divorce attorney should also give you a written
Client’s Rights and Responsibilities
Click here to review a sample
Engagement and Fee Agreement and the Client’s Rights and Responsibilities. )
STEP 3: Complete the
fact-gathering questionnaire that your
Chicago divorce attorney will provide you.
to obtain Sylvester Law Firm’s
Fact-Gathering Questionnaire For Divorce
STEP 4: Your
Illinois divorce lawyer creates a
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. You read the
Petition to make sure everything is correct. You then sign the
STEP 5: Your
Chicago divorce attorney files the
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the appropriate
Illinois divorce court, and pays the applicable filing fee. The
divorce filing fee in Illinois is currently $329. The fee for filing an
Answer to the
Petition is $188.
STEP 6: The court clerk will issue a
Summons. The Sheriff will “serve” the
Summons on your spouse. The
Petition asks the
Illinois divorce court to dissolve your marriage. The
Summons requires your spouse to respond to the
Petition via an
Answer, and to appear in court on a certain day and time.
STEP 7: Your spouse will prepare and file an
Answer to your
STEP 8: The initial
divorce court hearing will take place. The initial
divorce court hearing has the purpose of informing the
Illinois divorce court judge about your divorce case. The
Illinois divorce court judge may "enter" an order requiring you and your spouse and/or the
attorneys to appear in the
divorce court at a later date. The
Illinois divorce judge may also order you and your spouse to go through mediation to attempt
to resolve disputed issues. You will not have to attend the first
divorce court hearing.
STEP 9: The process of “discovery” takes place. Discovery includes
such things as depositions, requests for documents, interrogatories, etc.
Discovery is essentially the fact-gathering stage.
STEP 10: The
divorce lawyers investigate whether the issues of
child custody and
child support can be settled by you and your spouse without the need for a
STEP 11: If all issues can be settled without a
divorce trial, you and your spouse will agree upon and sign a
Marital Settlement Agreement. The
Illinois divorce judge will review the
Marital Settlement Agreement at a "prove-up" hearing.
(You do need to be present at the prove-up hearing.) If the
Illinois divorce judge approves the
Marital Settlement Agreement, the
divorce court judge will "enter" an
Order and Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage. If you and your spouse cannot settle all issues, even after mediation, the
Illinois divorce judge will set the case for a
divorce trial. Each side will seek to present evidence to support their case. The
Illinois divorce court judge will then make a ruling based on the evidence presented during the
The process of
divorce in Illinois can be very unpredictable. You should only work with a
north suburban Chicago divorce lawyer who can skillfully navigate you through the
Illinois divorce process and court system. The
Wilmette, Glenview and Northbrook divorce attorney of
Sylvester Law Firm has the experience necessary to make sure that you are protected at each
stage of the
Illinois divorce process.
You are welcome to call the
north suburban Chicago divorce lawyer of
Sylvester Law Firm at
(847) 251 – 2999 to get answers to your important questions.