A divorce is a complex and emotionally strenuous experience, even when spouses agree that it is the right choice. There are several issues involved in a Chicago divorce, including division of marital assets, determination of child custody, and assigning spousal support and child support. Spouses often have differences of opinion, even when they are attempting to cooperate. A divorce can be even more difficult when relations between spouses are contentious or even malicious during the divorce process, and the divorce must then be decided through court proceedings.
For many people, hiring a divorce attorney for their separation seems unnecessary. However, divorce and family law are exceptionally complex, and even straightforward divorces can be victims of legal issues and mistakes that lengthen the process. By working with a qualified divorce attorney, you can:
- Expedite your divorce.
- Find a favorable solution for you and your family.
- Avoid expensive mistakes
- Approach your divorce with confidence.
There are several benefits to hiring an attorney.
Better Negotiations in Your Interests
Your divorce may be handled through alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as negotiation or mediation, or it may be handled through litigation. Either way, hiring a divorce attorney protects your interests, including your wishes for financial stability and custody of your children.
In mediation, an attorney can help spouses find a compromise and ensure that neither spouse is taken advantage of. In negotiations like collaborative divorce, each spouse can be represented by their attorney, and your attorney can solely protect your interests. Even ADR can become complicated, and legal support can help steer it in a beneficial direction. An attorney is imperative if your divorce enters litigation. If your spouse enters court with a divorce attorney and you don’t have representation, you are at a distinct disadvantage.
Experienced, Professional Support
Divorce is an emotionally complicated process, and it’s rarely easy for you to maintain an objective perspective. Your attorney can bring you support and guidance as well as give you objective legal opinions and advice.
An attorney can review your unique relationship and situation and help you determine what the ideal method is to end your marriage. Legal separation, contested divorce, uncontested divorce, and even annulment, in unique cases, may be an option. Each type of marriage dissolution has its own benefits and drawbacks, and an attorney can help you make an informed decision.
Knowledge of Family Court Requirements
An attorney has handled many divorce cases before and knows the requirements for filing a petition, requesting pretrial motions, and creating a separation agreement. They understand the steps in divorce proceedings and how to prepare for them. When you work with an attorney local to the Chicago area, they have professional working relationships with those in the local courts and other divorce attorneys. Your attorney also has resources, such as financial experts or mental health professionals who may be useful as expert witnesses or in evaluating your assets. All these practical resources and experience can greatly benefit your case and ensure that you don’t miss anything that harms it.
Confidence During Proceedings
One of the most important benefits of working with an attorney is how much stress and work it takes off of you, which can relieve your anxiety. You can focus on other parts of your life while your attorney handles the minutiae of the case and ensures that you are informed throughout the process. You can have legal guidance and support, along with a full understanding of your divorce case and the options available to you. This helps you approach your divorce with confidence, knowing that a capable attorney can work for the ideal outcome in the case.
Q: How Do I Expedite a Divorce in Illinois?
A: Obtaining an uncontested divorce out of court is the fastest way to get a divorce. When both spouses agree on most or all of the aspects of a separation agreement, they can mediate the exact terms of spousal support, property division, child support, and child custody. Then, they can submit the separation agreement to the court. If approved, it will be entered into the court as an official order. In Illinois, there is no waiting period for no-fault divorces. The divorce will only take as long as mediating the agreement takes. This process can go even faster with an experienced attorney acting as a mediator.
Q: How Long Can a Spouse Drag Out a Divorce in Illinois?
A: A contested divorce can last for months to several years to even longer. If spouses begin a divorce by mediating or negotiating a separation agreement, but one spouse refuses to cooperate, the divorce will enter trial. The divorce may also be contested from the outset and begin in litigation. A litigious divorce takes much longer, but a spouse can really only delay the mediation portion of a divorce. Once the divorce is in court, the court will eventually reach a decision, even if a spouse is uncooperative.
Q: Can a Judge Deny a Divorce in Illinois?
A: If the filing spouse meets the residency requirement of living in Illinois for at least 90 days, a judge cannot deny a petition for divorce. There is no way to prevent a divorce from occurring unless the filing spouse withdraws their petition. The other spouse can contest the divorce, but this just means that the divorce will go through litigation and take longer. It does not mean that the divorce will not happen.
Q: What Is the Fastest Time That You Can Get a Divorce in Illinois?
A: Other than Illinois’s residency requirement, there is no waiting period if you and your spouse are getting an uncontested or no-fault divorce. The length of time from filing for the divorce to finalizing it will depend on how quickly spouses can agree on the terms of a separation agreement. For spouses who are getting a contested or fault-based divorce, there is a waiting period of 6 months. Spouses must be separated during those 6 months, and the petition can be finalized after this time period. However, because fault-based divorces must go through litigation, they often take longer than the waiting period.
Contact Stange Law Firm
When you need legal guidance to mediate or litigate your divorce, contact Stange Law Firm. Our attorneys have years of experience in family law, and we use that knowledge to find a reasonable and beneficial separation agreement for your divorce.