No matter the circumstances, divorce can be a stressful, overwhelming, and emotionally challenging time for everyone involved. When a married couple believes that it is time to separate, the process itself can appear confusing. When you factor in other aspects, such as your children and alimony, the situation becomes much more complex. However, a knowledgeable Naperville divorce lawyer can examine all the circumstances in your situation and determine the most ideal path forward.
You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may have decided that you know exactly what will happen as a result of your divorce. You might have decided how you’ll handle child support, alimony, and how much time your kids can spend with each parent. However, when the process actually begins, you may realize that your plan won’t work, and matters can become contentious. To prevent a massive argument that leads nowhere, you should hire a separation attorney.
Our team at Vahey Law & Mediation, LLC, has provided legal advice to hundreds of couples throughout Naperville who were looking to divorce. We can go through all the relevant information and decide how we can serve both of you. Our goal is to reach the most optimal solution possible, and we work diligently to do so. You may feel that you understand exactly how divorce works in Naperville, but many of our clients have been surprised by how complex it is.
To be eligible for a dissolution of marriage in Illinois, you or your spouse must meet residency requirements by indicating that one of you has lived in the state for a minimum of 90 days. Either of you can file for divorce, and there is no legal advantage to being the first to file. If you have been a resident of Illinois for at least 90 days, but your spouse has not lived in Illinois or committed any type of act within the state that led them to come under jurisdiction of the state court, the court can grant your divorce. However, the court does not have the authority to order your spouse to transfer property, pay debts, or provide child support.
As the filing spouse (plaintiff), you must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the circuit court in the county where you reside. Your spouse (the respondent) has 30 days after being served with this petition to file an Answer to the Petition. If they fail to answer within the deadline, the court may simply rule in your favor and grant the terms of your petition. When the divorce involves minor children, the court can order both parents to participate in an educational program that explains how dissolving a marriage can impact the children. This program may be divided into multiple sessions, but you will both be expected to attend a total of four hours and pay for the cost of attendance.
In Illinois, divorce has been known among its residents to be a complicated and detail-oriented process that takes time to fully comprehend. There are multiple criteria that you must meet before you can file for a divorce, and the state itself has enacted laws that can influence the process. There are four aspects of the divorce process that you must keep in mind before your case goes to court:
The process itself contains five steps.
Even after reading about the divorce process and trying to understand it fully, it’s a process that takes time to navigate and is almost never easy. For this reason, we advise couples to meet with a qualified divorce lawyer to handle the case.
You may have heard the term “mediation” when researching divorce, and our team believes that this may be necessary in some instances.
Unfortunately, some divorce proceedings become heated and confrontational. Couples may realize that it’s impossible to move forward after constant arguing and emotional disputes. Mediation is a method that involves bringing in a third party to mediate or facilitate the discussion in hopes of finding a clear solution. Not only can this help tone down arguments, but this may help save you money and time.
For example, if you and your spouse are having a dispute over child custody arrangements, the mediator can gather both sides’ opinions and look over any evidence that’s relevant to the scenario. Rather than spend significant time and money on lengthening your case, have a mediator help save your resources while they give their perspective on the situation.
Mediation, while not mandatory, can make a crucial difference in how your divorce proceedings go.
It is possible to navigate Naperville’s legal system without the assistance of a lawyer. However, doing this comes with significant risk.
When filing paperwork, such as a request for divorce, you must provide specific and accurate information. Also, if you end up in court, you must be able to defend yourself and your rights, which can be challenging to do on your own. For these reasons, it is imperative that you consider hiring a qualified and experienced lawyer to defend you in your divorce case.
Some individuals opt not to hire legal representation due to financial reasons, but the truth is that having legal help may benefit you financially as a long-term solution. For example, if you don’t hire a divorce attorney, you may end up spending additional legal fees while prolonging your divorce. However, a lawyer can help streamline the process and potentially decrease the amount of time it could take to complete your case.
Finally, divorce lawyers may be able to handle most of the work while you handle the rest of your life. As you focus on your children and work, a lawyer can begin building a case for you that protects your rights. Rather than take time away from your job or family, you can address those needs while a family lawyer handles some of the more crucial aspects of the case.
A: The divorce process in Illinois can take anywhere from two months to around three years. There is no set amount of time that your divorce will take to finalize, as this depends on the various factors involved in your case. For example, if you hired legal assistance to support you, and if you have children, the amount of time that the process could take can fluctuate considerably.
A: No divorce lawyer charges the same for their services. However, some lawyers may only charge an initial fee of $300. Of course, some lawyers may charge $300 per hour of work, so it’s advised that you speak about pricing ahead of hiring your potential lawyer. There is nothing wrong with gaining clarity on how much your lawyer charges for their efforts, as the end goal is to navigate this complicated process with little to no hassle.
A: One method of divorce, known as an uncontested divorce, is the cheapest way that you and your spouse can divorce. An uncontested divorce means that both parties already agree on how their assets and property should be split, so there is no need to debate this in court. This also avoids the need for additional legal fees to address this division. However, uncontested divorces are uncommon, so make sure that you hire a lawyer, regardless of your situation.
A: If you and your spouse cannot agree on specific terms without getting into an emotional or aggressive argument, you may want to consider hiring a mediator. Mediators aren’t required, and many couples only seek lawyers to assist them. However, if there is a severe dispute over certain issues, such as visitation rights, you may be in a position where mediation is necessary.
Divorce is challenging, no matter who or what is involved. While some divorces may be an opportunity for you and your partner to move forward in life in a healthy manner, others can be contentious and difficult to work through. Regardless of how well you and your partner can work together in your divorce case, we highly recommend that you speak with a divorce lawyer about your concerns.
Our team at Vahey Law & Mediation, LLC, has worked with many clients who made the complicated decision to divorce, and we’re prepared to help you navigate this process as well. We know how overwhelming this is for you, your partner, and your children, and we want to simplify this situation as much as we can. If you or someone you know needs an experienced legal team in Naperville to handle a divorce, we hope you consider meeting with us.
To learn more about how we can help, contact us today so we can schedule a consultation.