Frequently Asked Questions About Illinois Divorce
Palatine, Illinois Divorce Attorney
The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., is a full-service family law firm dedicated to helping clients in Northern Illinois resolve their legal concerns quickly and without unnecessary stress. Attorney Nicholas W. Richardson possesses an extensive knowledge of the state’s divorce laws and is equipped to assist you in finding the answers you need. Here are a few of the most common questions he hears almost every day:
Do I Really Need an Attorney?
There is nothing in the law that requires you to hire a lawyer for your divorce. You must remember, however, that divorce can be incredibly complex and, at times, overwhelming. The terms of your divorce can literally impact the rest of your life and mistakes along the way can cost you thousands of dollars and, depending on the situation, full access to your children. Working with a qualified family law attorney, even just to review a possible settlement agreement, is highly advisable.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce?
For many years, Illinois permitted a person to seek a divorce based on specific behaviors of his or her spouse, including adultery, bigamy, abandonment, physical or mental abuse and substance abuse. Recently enacted amendments to the law, however, now allow divorces only on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, sometimes called no-fault divorce.
Should I File for Divorce First?
The spouse who files the petition for divorce is called the petitioner and the other spouse is known as the respondent. These designations really only matter at the very beginning of the process, although some legal experts believe that filing first could possibly give you the “upper hand” in the proceedings. Speak with your own attorney to determine if filing first would make much of a difference in your case, but chances are, it will not.
Will I Have to go to Court?
Yes. Even the simplest, uncontested divorce proceedings require at least a brief appearance before the Court so the Judge can review and approve the terms of the divorce settlement. More complex cases and those with high levels of contentiousness may require several courtroom appearances before the entry of the divorce judgment.
How Much Will Divorce Cost?
This question is often one of the most difficult to answer because the total cost of you divorce depends on the specifics of your case. Legal fees, court costs, filing expenses, and other expenditures all contribute to the costs associated with divorce. A simple, uncontested divorce will obviously cost less than a complicated divorce involving extensive litigation, but unforeseen issues can arise in any situation.
How Long Will Divorce Take?
Your divorce can be completed in as few as 30 days, or can take up to a year or more, all dependent upon the complexity of your situation and the Court’s docket schedule. If your case requires multiple Court appearances in a county with thousands of active divorce cases, you should probably expect a much longer process. If you only need the Court’s approval of an equitable, negotiated divorce agreement, you may be able to complete the proceedings in a matter of months.
What Issues Will a Divorce Judgment Include?
Before your final divorce judgment is entered, you and spouse, with or without the intervention of the Court, will need to address spousal support, the division of property and debts, allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. The Court may choose to dissolve the marriage before all of the other issues are fully resolved, but the final judgment will be reserved until all arrangement is in place.
Call a Dedicated Illinois Divorce Lawyer
For answers to more in-depth questions regarding divorce in Cook or DuPage Counties, contact the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., for a free initial consultation. Call 847.873.6741 today.