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The Process of Divorce

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

The following steps are parts of the divorce process in Illinois.


The Petition

In order to file for divorce, the first thing you must do is file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. As the filer, you will be called the petitioner and your spouse will be the respondent. A Petition states several basic facts for the couple and their children and is public record. This step is usually only two or three paragraphs and does not contain much personal information.

The Petition must state the reasons for the divorce, which can be fault or no fault grounds in Illinois. These "faults" must be proven in court; however, the judge cannot consider them while deciding the division of marital property.

Service of Process

"Once the Petition has been filed… due process requires the respondent to be ‘served’ with the Petition and a Summons to appear" in court, according to Illinois divorce law. This means that your spouse will be legally notified of the divorce proceedings.

The Response

Once the spouse has been served, he or she will have 30 days to file a written response to the Petition. If your spouse does not file a formal response, then you have the opportunity to request that the court enters a "default judgment."

If this is the case, the next step is to prove to the judge that your spouse was aware of the petition and knowingly chose not to respond. If this is proven, then the judge will grant the divorce and split your marital property.

If a response has been filed, attorneys can discuss details such as temporary child support.

Financial Investigation, Negotiation and Settlement

For the financial portion of your divorce, the value of your marital estate has to be determined so that it can be equally divided. At this step, there are often many interviews and reviews of financial documents to accurately determine the values. Then negotiation of property and issues related to children begin.

Pretrial Conference

If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement with your attorneys on your own, the attorneys might choose to submit the disagreements to a judge, who will come up with a recommendation on his or her own in a pretrial conference. At this point, both your spouse’s attorney and your own attorney will present each side of the arguments to the judge before the judge makes a recommendation. This is often the nest motivation to reach a final settlement without a full trial.


If an agreement still cannot be reached, a court date will be set, often for many months in the future because the trial calendar is usually booked. In the months leading up to the trial, your attorney will prepare for the trial, which will often be very expensive. Finally, in the trial, the judge will make final decisions and a final divorce judgment will be entered at the conclusion.

If you are considering filing for divorce and have any questions or concerns about the process, contact Angel Traub and Associates in Lombard, Ill. today. These experienced divorce lawyers can help you with your divorce now.

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