Legal Services


The Divorce Process

Although divorce is common throughout the United States, the divorce process varies by state and on the couple's situation.
The less complicated ones, such as marriages without children or property, typically are less time-consuming and easier than long-term marriages with significant assets, marital debt, and children.
Couples who are willing to work together to negotiate on terms of the divorce (child custody, child support, property division, debt, and spousal maintenance) experience a less stressful and less expensive divorce than those who refuse to work together.

What happens in a divorce?

Brief overview of what happens during the divorce process

Step 1

Filing the Divorce Petition

Before any couple can begin the divorce process, one spouse must file a legal petition with the court asking to end the marriage. Be prepared to provide the following:

  • Your proof of Illinois residency
  • A legal reason, or grounds, for the divorce
  • Any other statutory information as required by Illinois 

Step 2

Requesting of Temporary Orders

When filing a divorce, the court allows you to ask for temporary requests for child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance. Other temporary orders can be property restraining orders and status quo payments.
If you ask for a temporary order, the court will hold a hearing before deciding how to rule on the application. If your filing restraining orders make sure you follow them, or risk being penalized by the court.

Step 3

Serving and Wait for a Response

The Filing Spouse Responsibility:
You need to provide a copy of the paperwork to your spouse and file proof of service with the court. A proof of service is a document stating you met the statutory requirements for giving a copy of the petition to your spouse. Not serving properly or filing according to state requirements can lead to your petition being rejected by the judge - delaying your divorce case.

Step 4

Negotiating a Settlement

Complicated marriages who have differing opinions on sensitive topics such as child custody, support, or property division, both spouses will need to communicate and reach an agreement. Occasionally, the court will schedule a settlement conference where the parties, along with their attorneys, meet to discuss these topics. Reaching a mutual agreement is a possibility with the help of a neutral third-party acting as a mediator to try and help resolve lingering issues – often saving time and money during the process.

Step 5

Divorce Trial

If all negotiation attempts fail, the parties ask the court for help which means going to trial. A divorce attorney, such as Attorney Faye M. Lyon, will negotiate with the opposing spouse's attorney on your behalf to reach the best resolution and terms. Before going to trial, talk to your attorney to figure out the best options for you.

Step 6

Order of Dissolution

The final step of divorce comes when the judge signs the order of dissolution (or judgement of divorce). This document ends the marriage and defines the specifics of how the ex couple will abide custodial responsibility and parenting time, child support, and how the divide of assets and debts will spell out. If the parties were able to negotiate a settlement, the spouse's attorneys draft out a judgement, otherwise, the judge issues the final order.

Things To Know About Divorce

Following well preparation with the help of a divorce attorney, there are expectations you need to be aware of to make your divorce as successful as possible.

Don't Make Important Decision Without Guidance

Divorce brings many life-changing events. For example, you may decide its best to sell the family home. Don't let emotions cloud your best judgement, consult with your attorney before making choices and consider the potential consequences.

Consider Your Kids

While it may be easy to get wrapped up with the negative emotions from a divorce, saying cruel things to your spouse in while your kids are present, can have lasting effects on them. Studies show that divorcing parents arguments have psychological effects on children. Despite you and your spouse's differences, you should not try to discourage a healthy parent-child bond.  

Don't Believe Everything You Hear About Divorce

It's all to easy to ask for advice from friends or family. Unfortunately, the information and advice given can be misleading. Each divorce case has its own set of issues. While your friends who have gone thought a divorce may know a thing or two, rely on the advice from your attorney and other professionals who are familiar with the specifics of your case.  

Be Honest with Your Attorney and Your Spouse

You'll need to provide your divorce attorney with all the facts so she can analyze your case accurately and give you appropriate advice. Hiding something from your attorney can hinder your end result. Not fully disclosing critical information such as income, expenses, assets and debts to your spouse can lead to imposed penalties. If unsure, always ask your attorney. 

Considering Divorce?

Talk to Divorce Attorney Faye M. Lyon
She has extensive experience, knowledge and determination to fight for your best interests.

Do You Need Legal Help?

You don't have to fight your legal battles alone. Have a trusted attorney by your side.

Give Us A Call
Visit Us At

1111 S. Alpine Road, Suite 703
Rockford, IL 61108

Scroll to Top