Divorce & Custody Processes

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Divorce & Custody Processes in Illinois

1. Strategy Session

 Before we begin, you and our legal team will discuss your situation so we can learn about the details of your case. This strategy session allows us to build a strategy to resolve your case based on your marriage, children and any other key information.

2. Commencing a Case for Divorce or Custody 

After you decide to continue to the next stages of a divorce or custody case, our attorneys will ensure you meet all requirements, such as proper residency status. If you fulfill these requirements, we will prepare paperwork and draft a petition outlining your circumstances to file with the court.

3. Initial Case Management Conference 

Next, we will schedule your first court hearing, which typically takes place a few weeks after filing your petition. During the hearing, a judge will resolve temporary issues as your divorce pends alongside you, your attorneys and your spouse. The conference will also identify existing issues that need to be resolved.

4. Discovering Information & Researching Facts

Both sides of the divorce case need to present complete, accurate information to the other. This way, each party can negotiate based on all relevant information. Formal depositions or interrogatories, as well as informal requests, are possible discovery techniques. In complicated cases, the process may involve appraisals, psychiatric evaluations and more.

5. Temporary Relief Hearing 

The court may issue a temporary order for custody and support schedules if you and your spouse have shared children. If one spouse cannot earn an adequate living immediately, the court may order temporary spousal support. 

6. Mediation or Early Neutral Evaluation 

You and your partner may decide to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) approaches such as mediation or early neutral evaluation before taking a contested matter to court.  

7. Pretrial Hearing  

If negotiations and ADR methods prove to be unsuccessful, a pretrial hearing in court will be held. The judge will determine which topics will be discussed at trial, as well as guidelines for the trial, such as timelines, testimony and witnesses.

8. Final Trial

The case will continue to trial before a judge if contested issues continue to remain. Our attorneys will meticulously prepare for trial so that we can make solid arguments in your favor. If your case goes to trial, you’ll want an accomplished litigator at your side.   

9. Implementation

The final divorce degree will be issued by the court, and it may be based on the agreements made between you and your spouse or the judge’s verdict from the trial. You’ll have to divide your property, update names on titles, review your financial statements, start your custody plan, and more as a result of the decree. Our attorneys will confirm the court’s orders are fairly executed.

10. Checkout Session

We will meet with you again after the case has been settled. This provides us the opportunity to confirm there are no additional questions or loose ends to address. We will also identify potential legal problems that might occur in the future, such as the need for decree amendments. We will wrap up your current case so you can move forward after the divorce.

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