Most 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....