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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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois divorce laws,An otherwise forgettable New York divorce case made national news after the judge in the case ruled that the woman seeking a divorce from her husband could serve him with the divorce summons using a private message through Facebook. When the couple split, the man left his residence without leaving a forwarding address. Not only this, but he has no address on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles and is not employed. The only contact the woman has had with her estranged husband is an occasional message via Facebook. Based on this, the judge found that service by Facebook of the divorce summons was the method most likely to apprise him that a divorce petition had been filed and what he needed to do to respond.

Service of Process – The What and the Why

When you initially file a divorce petition, your spouse must be informed of the petition and the date the petition is set for hearing. This is because the law grants your spouse a limited amount of time to respond to your petition and assert any claims he or she may have against you as it pertains to the divorce action. In most circumstances, you pay a service fee so that a process server can deliver a copy of the divorce petition and summons to your spouse in person. This delivery can be made at your spouse’s residence or at his place of employment, or anywhere else he or she may be found.

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Posted on in Divorce Procedure

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois divorce laws,Sometimes love does indeed conquer all. Sometimes a divorcing couple decides to give their marriage another chance and wants to put a halt to their divorce case. While a spouse who files for divorce is always free to dismiss the divorce case at any time, this may not always be a wise decision. What happens if you dismiss your divorce case, and what should you consider before putting the brakes on your Illinois divorce?

Dismissing Your Case – How Do You Do it and What Happens Next?

A civil or criminal lawsuit is able to be dismissed by the individual who filed the suit (the petitioner or plaintiff, depending on the type of case) with very few limitations. Usually when a lawsuit is dismissed voluntarily by the person who filed it, the case is dismissed without prejudice. This means that the plaintiff or petitioner is able to refile the case at a later date if he or she chooses. (By contrast, a dismissal with prejudice means that the plaintiff or petitioner cannot refile the lawsuit based upon the same facts – it is very rare for a divorce to be dismissed with prejudice). You cannot “dismiss” a divorce that has already been finalized by the court.

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