If you’ve never been through a divorce in Illinois, you might be a little anxious about going through the process. Filing for divorce can be challenging, but if you know what to expect, you’ll be better prepared to seek legal advice and negotiate with your estranged spouse.
What happens when you file for divorce?
To start the process, you’ll need to file a petition for divorce with your local court. You’ll have to include a reason why you’re filing for divorce. After the petition has been filed, your spouse will be served with the document. They’ll have a month to hire an attorney and get their affairs in order before the proceedings start.
The court might also release temporary divorce orders that take care of certain issues like child custody and spousal support until the divorce is finalized. These orders might be temporary, but they’re still legally binding. If you don’t follow the orders, it could be used against you later. You and your estranged spouse will also have to undergo the discovery process so both attorneys can gather information about the parties. This can include financial documents, admissions of fact, interrogative questions and more.
After this, you may have to give your testimony during a deposition, then follow that up with divorce mediation. If you and your estranged spouse can come to an agreement, you can finalize your divorce without taking it to court. However, if the negotiations break down, you’ll have to go to divorce court and argue your case in front of a judge. In this case, the judge makes the final decision regarding the outcome of your divorce.
When should you have legal representation?
When you’re filing for divorce, timing is key. The earlier you hire an attorney, the earlier you could protect yourself from possible legal issues and retaliation. Your attorney could also have more time to build a case and figure out the best possible outcome for you.