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