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Process of Divorce

Libertyville Family Law Firm
Lake County, Illinois, Divorce Process Attorney and Marriage Dissolution Lawyer

Because every couple and every family is different, every divorce is different, too. If there is no significant property or assets involved in your divorce and you have no children to consider, the process can be quite simple and be resolved rather quickly and inexpensively.

However, most divorces are far more complicated and require the assistance of a skilled attorney. At the Libertyville, Illinois, family law firm of Matthew Kaplan, our sole focus is on helping individuals and families through the divorce process in the most efficient, most cost-effective manner, and least damaging manner possible.

Our Lake County family law attorneys have more than thirty years of combined experience with Illinois divorce matters. In addition to experience, our firm also offers a high level of personal service and a commitment to working with you one-on-one to find successful solutions to all the important issues involved with your divorce.

Contact an Illinois divorce process attorney at Matthew Kaplan today to schedule a free, half-hour in-office consultation to discuss your situation. During this meeting, we’ll listen intently to your story, encourage questions, explore your needs, and provide you with a rough estimate of the time trouble that may be required to achieve your goals.

Illinois Divorce Process

  • The first step in any Illinois divorce is the preparation and filing of a complaint that sets forth the reasons why the divorce is being sought and outlines the immediate actions that you seek to take regarding you and your children.

In handling any divorce, we extend olive branches early on in terms of how we notify the other side. If there is little or no hostility involved, we will write a letter explaining that we have been retained and suggesting that your spouse retain an attorney of his/her own. The spouse receiving the letter will be required to respond. If there is no response, we will serve your spouse with a summons. On the other hand, if there is hostility involved, we will simply have the sheriff serve the papers in order to avoid any sort of confrontation with which you may become involved.

  • The served spouse must respond within the time limit prescribed or it will be assumed that he or she does not contest the petition
  • Both parties, through their attorneys, engage in “discovery,” a process by which all documents and other information relevant to deciding issues such as property division, spousal support, child support, etc. must be supplied
  • Based on the knowledge gained during discovery, you may attempt to reach an amicable settlement. This process can be initiated voluntarily, whether by the parties’ lawyers or a neutral third party, such as a mediator
  • If a settlement is reached, the agreement is submitted to the court
  • If the judge approves the agreement, he or she issues a divorce decree that includes the terms to which the parties agreed. If he or she does not approve it, or if there has been no agreement, the case will go to trial.
  • At trial, the attorneys present the evidence and arguments for both sides, and the judge decides the unresolved issues, including child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, and property division, and grants the divorce
  • Either or both parties can appeal the judge’s decision to a higher court

The entire process can take from as little as a few months to as long as several years, depending on the issues involved and the severity of any disputes. The level of cooperation between you and your spouse and your willingness to compromise are the key elements in making the process faster and more efficient.

If your case does not need to be fought, we won’t fight it. Taking a problem -solving approach rather than a “put up your dukes and fight” approach is a much better way to find resolutions that are more likely to be acceptable to both parties.

Contact an Illinois divorce process attorney today at Matthew Kaplan to take the first step in the divorce process. Things may look dark now, but we’ll help you see the light at the end of the tunnel and provide a roadmap for getting there.