What You Can Expect When Filing for Divorce
Our Belleville, IL divorce attorneys focus on results that matter
Are you filing for divorce in Illinois? Or perhaps you're considering doing so? If so, you may be wondering what to expect and what the process might involve. These are important issues to consider, especially since your divorce could impact your financial future for years to come.
That's why our experienced divorce attorneys at Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C. in Belleville, Illinois created this page. We realize what a dramatic difference the decisions you make now can have on your future. That's why we want you to be aware of all the issues and complications that sometimes arise during divorce proceedings.
Our law firm is particularly well-known in Illinois for effectively addressing financial-related matters when it comes to divorce. Our attorneys can discuss these issues with you and explain all the options available to you.
No two divorces are exactly alike. That's why it's important to talk with an attorney if you have any specific questions or concerns. Simply schedule a free case evaluation with our law firm. We can explain in detail what to expect depending on the specific circumstances of your case.
What to expect when filing for divorce
There are many steps people need to take when filing for divorce in Illinois. In general, here are some of the major steps you can expect to encounter throughout the divorce process.
- Verify your residence - In order to file for divorce in Illinois, at least one spouse must be a resident of the state for at least 90 days prior to entry of the judgment of divorce.
- File a petition for divorce - The form that must be filed to begin the divorce process is known as the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the local circuit clerk. The spouse who files the form is the petitioner or plaintiff. The other spouse is the responder or defendant.
- File the petition in court - Either the petitioner or the petitioner's attorney can file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with a local circuit clerk. The filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage officially begins the divorce proceeding process.
- Notify the spouse - After the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage has been filed, the other spouse must be formally notified. Proof of service of process is required. We can walk you through the notification process, which can vary somewhat depending on the circumstances.
- Determine assets - The distribution of assets (house, cars, bank accounts, etc.) is a critical part of many divorces. The first step in this process is to determine which assets are separate and which are co-owned by the couple and subject to distribution.
- Negotiate with spouse - Sometimes, couples need to work out certain issues before the divorce can be finalized. Common issues that need to be negotiated often include alimony (spousal maintenance), child custody and child support. Depending on the circumstances, we may be negotiating directly with your spouse or with his or her attorney.
- Living apart - In order to get a no-fault divorce (the only type of divorce in Illinois), you have to demonstrate "irreconcilable differences." The easiest way to do this is to live separate and apart for a continuous period of six months before the divorce is finalized. If this is not possible, we can help you explore your other options.
- Appear in court - The number of times a couple needs to appear in court to finalize their divorce varies. If both spouses agree on everything and they have an uncontested divorce, they might only have to appear in court once to finalize their divorce. If they cannot agree on certain issues and have a contested divorce, their divorce might require numerous court appearances.
Don't underestimate the complexity of your divorce. Learn more about all your legal options. Contact us and schedule your free case evaluation with a Belleville, IL divorce lawyer who puts your best interests first.