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The Divorce Process in Kane County, IL

Kane County IL Divorce Process

Illinois Divorce Lawyers Explain How Divorce Works

While the very word "divorce" has many emotional connotations, it can be helpful to think of the divorce process as a logical, even mathematical, process.

At Weiler & Lengle P.C., we have been through this process hundreds of times. You can rely on our knowledge and experience to guide you safely and successfully through to the other side.

The Illinois Legal Process for Dissolution of Marriage

As your attorney, we will help you navigate through the Illinois divorce process, which the state statutes refer to as dissolution of marriage. We will help you understand how Illinois law applies to your situation and what to expect at each step. A brief outline of the process follows.

  1. The process begins when either you or your spouse files a petition for dissolution of marriage with the circuit court for the county where you reside. The non-filing spouse must then respond to that petition. These court filings are typically done through your respective attorneys.
  2. The next step is the financial discovery process. Each party must provide a financial affidavit to document all marital and non-marital income, assets, and debts. As part of this process, you may need to have some major assets like your marital home appraised, so as to determine their value and provide a factual basis for determining an equitable division of property.
  3. Once all of the financial documentation has been compiled, your attorney and your spouse's attorney will negotiate resolutions to any disputed issues in your divorce. You, your spouse, and your attorneys may meet together in a settlement conference or participate in mediation to resolve such disputes. The objective is to produce a joint marital settlement agreement which spells out the terms of your divorce, including the specific division of marital assets and debts; the amount and duration of maintenance payments, aka spousal support or alimony; and child support payments.
  4. If you have minor children, you must also develop a parenting plan to submit to the court, also known as the allocation judgment. This document covers the allocation of parental decision-making responsibilities and parenting time; these legal matters were formerly known as custody and visitation.
  5. At your first court date, the court will check where you are in the process of developing your marital settlement agreement and, if you have minor children, your parenting plan. Your attorneys will let the court know if it looks like there are any issues in your divorce that are going to be hotly contested and may require the court's assistance to resolve. The first hearing is also the time to request any temporary court orders to protect you while your divorce is in process. For example:
    • If your spouse has been the primary wage-earner for your household, you may need to ask the court to order temporary spousal support, now termed "maintenance" in the Illinois statutes.
    • If you have primary care of your children at this time, you may also need to ask the court for an order regarding temporary child support.
    • If you are concerned about your spouse taking actions that could hurt you, your lawyer may suggest asking the court for temporary restraining orders to prevent your spouse from hiding assets or spending prolifically to reduce the amount you receive in the divorce settlement, from removing your children from the area, and/or from contacting you or coming into physical contact with you.
  6. If you and your spouse reach a stalemate on any issues, the judge may order you to participate in a judicial settlement conference to attempt to settle those issues without going to trial. The judge will make recommendations to try and settle any disputes. The judge can also order the parties to mediation to resolve their issues. If the process drags on, the court may require regular status updates to ascertain your progress.
  7. When all terms of your divorce have been settled, you and your attorney will attend a required final hearing, known as the prove-up hearing, to formally present your marital settlement agreement to the court for approval.

Understanding and Honesty in the Kane County Divorce Process

The attorneys of Weiler & Lengle P.C. are committed to helping you achieve your personal goals for your divorce and to providing honest and reliable counsel throughout the legal process. Contact us in our St. Charles office at 630-382-8050. We serve clients in St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, Aurora, South Elgin, Wayne, Pingree Grove, and neighboring communities in Kane County.

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