The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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What Does the Divorce Process Look Like in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

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For many couples who are contemplating a split, the divorce process may seem overwhelming and rather complicated. While it is true that the divorce process can be a difficult one, it is not impossible. Getting help from a knowledgeable Illinois divorce lawyer is the easiest way to ensure you receive a fair settlement in your divorce. There are various stages of an Illinois divorce, many of which are multi-faceted and can become lengthy in certain situations. Even though the divorce process can seem daunting at first, a positive outcome is achievable, and divorce can ultimately benefit everyone in your family in the long run.

Filing a Petition for Divorce

The first step in getting a divorce is to file a petition for divorce at the courthouse in the county in which you reside. Filing a petition is simply a way of saying you are asking the court to allow you to dissolve your marriage. To file this type of legal document, you must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days, and you must pay a filing fee. The state of Illinois only recognizes one “grounds” for divorce now -- irreconcilable differences. This means your marriage has broken down to the point of no return, and attempting to reconcile would not be in the best interests of the family. You can prove this by living apart from your spouse for at least six months prior to filing the petition for divorce.

Going Through the Discovery Process

One of the first steps you will take in the divorce process is called “discovery.” During this step in the proceedings, you and your spouse will disclose all of your pertinent information, and you will also be able to request certain information from each other. The discovery phase also has its own steps, which include disclosures, interrogatories, admissions of fact, and requests for production. You and your divorce lawyer will have the opportunity to ask your spouse and his or her attorney questions about assets, property, or debts, and you can request official documents to prove their statements. 

Settlements or Trial

This is the main part of the divorce process, and it is the step in which most of your decisions will be made. There are many issues that you must attend to before you can complete your divorce, such as asset division, allocation of parental responsibilities, spousal maintenance, and child support. The best divorce outcomes often occur when spouses are able to come to an agreement on their own about these matters, rather than a judge having to intervene and make the final decisions. This is called a settlement, and it can be more beneficial than going to trial, which can become lengthy and expensive.

Final Steps

Once you and your spouse have hashed everything out, whether through negotiation, mediation, or a trial, you can attend your final divorce hearing. This hearing will occur regardless of the road you take to legally dissolve your marriage. This divorce hearing will be when you and your spouse sign your divorce decree, and a judge approves it, effectively ending the divorce process and completing the dissolution of your marriage.

Contact a Geneva Divorce Attorney 

Getting a divorce is a complicated process, not only because of the legalities involved but also because of the emotional aspects of ending a marriage. If you are contemplating getting a divorce, or if you are unsure of where to start, you should talk with a skilled Kane County asset division lawyer. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you through every aspect of the divorce process, from filing the petition to signing your divorce decree. Make sure your rights are protected by calling our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule your private consultation.




The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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