When to Contest a Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerMost divorces today are settled out of court. A majority of spouses are able to reach an agreement about each issue in their divorce by going to mediation or having their attorneys negotiate. When spouses can agree on each issue, they may file an uncontested divorce. Unfortunately, not every couple can resolve their divorce by agreement. In these cases, the spouses will need to go to court and argue their cases before a judge. The judge will then make a decision about each issue in the divorce, such as who should keep what marital property and what the parenting plan should look like. This is called a contested divorce, and it can be quite challenging. If you suspect that you will need to contest your divorce, it is important to be represented by an aggressive attorney

Reasons to Contest a Divorce in Illinois

There are a number of reasons that some spouses must contest their divorces. Common reasons spouses ultimately go to court to get divorced include: 

  •  Uncooperative spouse - Alternative dispute resolution does not work unless both parties are willing to participate and take it seriously. If your spouse refuses to engage in mediation or negotiation, fails to show up for mediation appointments, or simply refuses to make any compromises, you may need to go to court in order to finalize your divorce.
  • Complex assets - Spouses with substantial complex marital assets may struggle to find a fair way to divide what they own. A judge may need to step in and help divide complicated assets equitably. 
  • Abuse - If your spouse was abusive to you in any way, trying to go to mediation or negotiate with them may not be the right thing to do. Your attorney may suggest that you not attempt alternative dispute resolution and go directly to court. 
  • Hidden assets - If you believe that your spouse is concealing assets, it may take a court order to bring the full financial picture to life. 
  • Contention - In some cases, the spouses are in a high level of conflict. Spouses who despise each other may not be willing to agree to divorce terms that are fair to both parties. 

While contesting a divorce can be a challenge, the end result is often worth it. Courts strive to be as fair as possible to both parties. 


What Are the Common Types of Hidden Assets?

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Wheaton Asset Dissipation LawyerYou should be aware of the common types of hidden assets that your spouse may be trying to hide from you when going through a divorce. Hidden assets are assets that your spouse either does not disclose to you or that they intentionally keep secret from you.

Bank Accounts

One of the most common types of hidden assets is a secret bank account opened in your spouse's name or in the name of a fictitious person. They may also have made large deposits into the account in cash or by writing checks from another account that you do not know about.

Investments and Business Interests

Another commonly hidden asset is investing in stocks, bonds, or other securities that your spouse has not disclosed to you. They might have transferred assets into a trust or other entity that you do not know about. If your spouse owns a business, they may be trying to hide assets from you by transferring them to the business or by undervaluing the business.


What Does "Irreconcilable Differences" Mean?

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DuPage County Divorce LawyerThe state of Illinois now only recognizes one ground for divorce - irreconcilable differences. Rather than needing to prove that your spouse has engaged in wrongdoing, you now simply need to show that you and your spouse have differences that cannot be reconciled. In most cases, the court will simply believe you and your spouse when you state that you have irreconcilable differences and you will not need to offer proof so long as you are in agreement. However, if your spouse decides to contest the divorce, you may need to offer some type of evidence or testimony suggesting that you are not able to reconcile and return to a happy marriage. Even in cases of contested divorce, courts rarely perform an in-depth inquiry into the breakdown of the marriage. Most spouses who try to prevent a divorce by seeking to show a possibility of reconciliation rarely if ever succeed, but may be able to delay your case. If you are concerned that your spouse may choose this course of action, you should begin speaking to an attorney as soon as possible. 

Defining Irreconcilable Differences 

“Irreconcilable differences” describes an incredibly broad spectrum of reasons for divorce. One spouse filing for divorce may be unprepared to reconcile after an affair, while another set of spouses may have simply become two different people and found that they are not happy anymore. 

The statute pertaining to irreconcilable differences states a few elements that should be shown to support a finding of irreconcilable differences. It is important to note that the term “irreconcilable differences” itself has little in the way of a specific legal definition, but is rather intentionally left rather broad. Every married couple has a different standard relating to differences between the spouses that they are or are not willing to tolerate. 


Wheaton Divorce LawyerIt is essential for you to try to maintain a sense of normalcy during a divorce, especially for the sake of your children. One way to tend to yours and your children’s well-being is to take a vacation during this difficult time. However, you may not be able to simply go away without either consent from the other parent or a court order. Your family law attorney can advise you about what you need to do before you can take the children on a trip.

International Travel Will Usually Be Off Limits

Typically, you would not be able to take the children outside of the country while the divorce is pending. The courts would be afraid that the children may not be brought back. If the children do not have a passport, both parents would need to sign a consent form for the children to apply. It is unlikely that a court would allow you to leave the United States with the children before there is a final order. 

It Is Better to Get the Other Parent’s Consent

You are better off reaching an agreement, or taking the trip with the consent of the other parent. You may agree on the terms of the trip, including where you will take the children, how long they will be gone and a means for the other parent to reach them while they are away. The agreement may be mutual, allowing your ex-spouse to also take the children on a vacation. This could be a part of an interim custody agreement or outside the terms of the divorce agreement.


4 Tips for Dealing with a High-Conflict Spouse

Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton Family Law AttorneyHigh-conflict people seem to enjoy the argument and the fight. They want nothing more than to be in a war with you at all times. Then, they believe that they must win at all costs. They can make both your divorce and the period afterward a nonstop nightmare. An Illinois divorce lawyer may be able to assist in resolving issues related to divorcing a high-conflict ex-spouse

Do Not Give Them the Fight

Once you have entered into a dispute with this type of person, there is usually no way out of it. The conflict will keep spiraling out of control. In many cases, your ex-spouse will not be satisfied until you have a climactic battle in court. You are better off doing the best that you can to not get dragged into the fight in the first place, as difficult as it may seem.

You Do Not Have to Answer Everything

There are times when you may have to answer a communication. For example, you may be co-parenting, and the communication involves the children’s welfare. However, you are not under an obligation to answer every single text or e-mail. There are some communications that are better left unaddressed. Otherwise, you could be thrust into a continuous back-and-forth with your ex-spouse. If you do not share children, there is less of a reason to answer. 


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