IL divorce lawyerWhile litigated Illinois divorce used to be common, couples are now encouraged by divorce courts to use resources like mediation and collaborative divorce to resolve issues peaceably. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, and some couples still find themselves litigating their divorces in court even when they do not want to. In this blog, we will discuss some potential signs that you may end up litigating your divorce in a trial, as well as what the divorce trial experience looks like. Be sure to consult with an experienced divorce attorney to get customized advice for your situation.

When Does a Divorce Go to Trial?

Certain circumstances make it difficult or impossible to achieve a resolution through mediation or other cooperative methods. These situations include, but are not limited to:

  • A spouse who contests the divorce and will not negotiate or settle
  • Spouses whose communication is so contentious that compromise is impossible
  • Hostile disputes over child custody, especially when abuse is alleged
  • Domestic violence towards either the spouse or the children
  • One or both spouses hiding assets, engaging in dissipation of marital assets or refusing to be forthcoming about finances

Sometimes a divorce that seems to be headed for a long, protracted trial can be headed off by presenting information to a judge in a pre-trial conference and asking the judge to estimate what their decision is likely to be. This may convince a spouse not to continue litigating indefinitely when they are not likely to accomplish their goals.

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Posted on in Divorce Procedure

IL divorce lawyerThe process of getting a divorce can seem monumental. Besides the emotional upheaval of separating from your spouse, getting divorced can be a long process that requires extensive paperwork and negotiation over complicated topics like assets and parenting time.

However, there are things that you can do before the divorce begins to speed up the process and make it less complex. Doing a little work now to organize and prepare yourself for divorce can save you significant time and money in the future. Here are some great tips for people in Illinois who are preparing for or considering divorce.

Check Out Different Lawyers

Finding an attorney that meets your needs and style is important - you will be working closely together and the attorney-client relationship should be one that makes you feel respected and heard. Have an initial consultation with a few different attorneys and get a sense of your options. A responsible attorney should be honest about your realistic options, respect your priorities, and have an eye towards saving you time and money.

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Wheaton filing for divorce attorneyThe divorce process is likely to be rife with challenging decisions and difficult considerations for you and your spouse to manage. The two of you will need to deal with both your current situations, as well as your expectations and plans for the future, especially if you have children together. Among the myriad concerns that most couples face is the decision regarding who should be the one to file the formal divorce petition and when the petition should be filed. Is there an advantage to filing before your spouse does, or does it really matter who files first? The answer, as with most divorce-related questions, is that it depends on your unique circumstances.

Are There Legal Advantages to Filing First?

For the majority of divorcing couples in Illinois, filing first does not offer any special advantage from a legal perspective. The titles that will be used in your proceedings will be different depending on who filed first. The filer is referred to as the “petitioner” or “plaintiff,” and the other spouse is known as the “respondent” or “defendant,” but both parties have equal rights and responsibilities during the proceedings. You will have opportunities to bring up issues and express your objections whether you are the petitioner or the respondent.

The ability to allege and prove a claim against your spouse is also not contingent on which party filed for divorce first. For example, you can raise a claim of dissipating assets, or be required to defend against one, regardless of who filed the initial petition for divorce.

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Wheaton IL collaborative divorce lawyerStudy after study over the past several decades has documented the effects that hostile divorces have not only on the couple who is breaking up, but also the children of those marriages. A contentious divorce can have an impact on both emotional and physical long-term health for all involved. With almost half of all first-time marriages ending in divorce, and even more second and subsequent marriages not working out, it is hard to avoid being affected by divorce one way or another, whether it is your own or that of your parents or your adult children.

However, not all divorces have to be quite so difficult. More and more law firms are offering clients the option of collaborative divorce, and many of those clients are choosing that option as the more peaceful way to end their marriages.

What is a Collaborative Divorce?

Unlike traditional, litigated divorce, where parental responsibilitiesdivision of assets and debts, and other marital issues are determined by a judge following a trial, collaborative divorce does not involve litigation. Instead, couples agree to work through these issues and come to an agreement on how they should be resolved. This is done with the help of attorneys representing each of the spouses. Many collaborative divorce teams also include a financial advisor, as well as mental health professionals and other experts whose input may be useful in the divorce process.

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Wheaton IL divorce resolution attorneyGetting a divorce means making decisions that will affect you and your family for the rest of your lives, and it is safe to say that it should not be taken lightly. Many people think that you only have one option when it comes to getting a divorce: litigation in court. However, just as there is more than one way of getting married, there is more than one way of getting divorced. Another increasingly popular method of dissolving marriages is mediation. Examining the pros and cons of each type of divorce can help you decide which would be better for you.

The Basics of Divorce Litigation

Many people consider litigation to be the traditional divorce method. In a litigated divorce, both spouses are represented by their own lawyers who provide legal advice and represent their client’s interests in court, with the goal of convincing the judge to issue a final decision in their client’s favor.

Litigated divorces can often be long and stressful. When your divorce case goes to court, it tends to increase the amount of time it takes to reach a decision, because you are relying on the court’s availability and timeline. Litigated divorces can also become messy and combative, which can be hard on the whole family, especially the children.

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