Divorce can be one of the most challenging experiences of a person’s life in many ways. Even when a married couple is entirely convinced that it is time for them to separate, the divorce process can still cause intense emotions. It will undoubtedly lead to complex legal matters. The legal process of divorce formally begins when a married person submits a petition for dissolution to the local court. If you believe divorce is in your near future, call our firm. The attorneys at Vahey Law & Mediation, LLC are ready to help you prepare for this difficult but necessary legal process.

Why Do I Need Legal Counsel?

Perhaps you and your spouse own minimal property and do not have children. You may think that these factors indicate a smooth and simple divorce process. However, the reality is that any divorce case can very quickly escalate into a very difficult and complicated legal affair. Without legal representation, you may end up with a divorce decree that does not suit your interests or is unfairly one-sided in favor of your ex. To prevent this, it is vital to secure legal representation as soon as you decide to follow through with the divorce process.

At Vahey Law & Mediation, LLC, we provide client-focused divorce representation. Our team will get to know you and your goals for your divorce to provide individualized legal counsel. No two divorce cases are entirely similar, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to divorce representation. As your Joliet, IL divorce attorneys, we will do everything we possibly can to ensure the smoothest divorce process possible.

Why Choose Vahey Law & Mediation, LLC?

If you need legal representation for a divorce case, it’s vital to find a Joliet, IL divorce lawyer with solid experience, responsive communication, and the skills to address the most complex issues behind your case. Vahey Law & Mediation, LLC focuses on the client first and foremost in every case. We will take time to learn what’s most important to you in your divorce and put the full range of our resources at your disposal through each phase of your case.

The Illinois Divorce Process

The state of Illinois upholds a residency requirement for anyone wishing to file for divorce in the state. As long as you or your spouse has lived in Illinois for at least 90 days, you may file a petition for dissolution with the Joliet, IL family court. It doesn’t matter which one of you files the petition; being the first to file offers no legal advantage. Additionally, Illinois does not require a specific reason to file for divorce. The state accepts “irreconcilable differences” as a catch-all legal justification for any marriage that has broken down and is irreparable.

Illinois allows 30 days to respond to a divorce petition filed by your spouse. If the court has served you with a divorce petition, you must meet this deadline or risk the court ruling in favor of the petitioner and granting them their demands included in their petition.

Joint Simplified Divorce

It is possible for some divorcing couples to significantly speed up their divorce proceedings through joint simplified divorce. However, this process is exclusively available to divorcing couples who meet very specific criteria:

  • The couple must agree completely on all divorce-related issues.
  • The couple cannot have been married for more than eight years.
  • The couple must be separated for at least six months prior to joint simplified divorce.
  • They may not own real property.
  • The couple must have a combined total income of less than $35,000 per year.
  • The couple may not have children to qualify for joint simplified divorce.

This process is an alternative to a typical no-fault divorce. It can save the divorcing couple a significant amount of time and money they would otherwise spend on lengthy mediation or litigation.

Divorce Mediation vs. Divorce Litigation

If you and your spouse do not qualify for joint simplified divorce, divorce mediation offers a streamlined and less expensive alternative to litigation. If you do not explore alternative dispute resolution for your divorce, you and your spouse should expect lengthy and costly divorce litigation. This process is similar to most other civil cases. You and your spouse must attend all required court appearances, offer testimony, and ultimately accept the judge’s ruling.

There are several reasons why many divorcing couples prefer to avoid divorce litigation. Each spouse will pay attorneys’ fees throughout the ordeal, and litigation can take months before any conclusions are possible. Divorce litigation also becomes public record, so everything said during the divorce case will be accessible to the general public.

By comparison, divorce mediation allows you to keep all your divorce proceedings private. You can also maintain much more control over the outcome of your divorce by negotiating a more personalized and logical divorce agreement that suits both of your needs. Your mediation sessions will also take place in a much more informal and relaxed atmosphere than a courtroom, typically in the mediator’s office or conference room. Mediation only takes as long as you and your spouse need to negotiate the terms of your divorce.

Addressing Life Changes After Divorce

Once you obtain your divorce agreement, it’s vital to realize that the legal affairs associated with your divorce may not be entirely over. If you experience a dramatic life change such as a medical emergency, the loss of a job, or anything else that changes your financial situation or living arrangements, you have the opportunity to address these changes through a post-judgment modification. This process can allow you to adjust your child support or alimony obligation, and it is also possible to request a change to your child custody agreement in light of new information.

Find Your Attorney Today

A Joliet, IL divorce lawyer is your best asset when the time has come to face divorce proceedings. No matter how complex you believe your divorce will be, reliable legal representation can help you navigate this difficult situation more easily. If you are ready to discuss your legal options with a compassionate and experienced Joliet, IL divorce attorney, contact Vahey Law & Mediation, LLC today and schedule a consultation with our team.


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