Going through a divorce is almost certainly a difficult, emotional experience for anyone. That is why it is so important to have a skilled family law attorney at your side throughout the process. The Chicago divorce lawyers at The Taradash Group, P.C. have the experience you need to feel confident that you are being well represented throughout a marital dissolution. The Taradash Group, P.C. serves clients throughout the greater Chicago area and in DuPage, Will, and Lake Counties, and in other communities throughout Illinois.
Filing for divorce can be a bittersweet experience. Many people are nervous to file and will ask me, “how long will my case take?” Most cases are concluded in 6 months to a year. Your particular case, however, may be more complex and have issues which will cause it to take longer. Talk with your attorney so you can get a better understanding of how long you can expect your case to wrap up.The Divorce Process in Illinois
Getting Started: Your case begins when your attorney files a “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.” Once your case is filed, you can proceed in one of three ways. We can immediately have your spouse served by a Sheriff or a process server; we can send your spouse a “Dear John” letter with a copy of the Petition; or you can simply file your Petition and instruct your attorney to do nothing. The “Dear John” letter is perhaps the preferred way to go. Your lawyer will send your spouse a fairly formal letter advising him/her that you have filed for a divorce and that you wish to end everything as quickly and as amicably as possible. A copy of your Petition will accompany the letter and we will give your spouse a reasonable amount of time (figure 2 weeks) to either file his Appearance or retain an attorney. Each case is unique and different, so talk with your attorney and determine the best way to proceed with your case.
Serving the Petition: If you have your Petition served on your spouse, it can be done in a matter of hours or as long as 2 weeks. Once the papers are served on your spouse, the proverbial “clock” starts to click and your spouse has 30 days to either have an attorney file papers with the court of file the papers himself.
Status Dates: Throughout your case, your case will have “status” dates. The lawyers will give the judge an update as to how things are progressing – is discovery being complied with, is there a chance at settlement, is the case going to trial, etc. Throughout your case, the judge will want to make sure that everyone is holding up alright and that the case is moving along appropriately.
Pre-Trial Conferences: If your or your spouse’s attorney requests one, your judge will schedule a “Pre-Trial Conference.” A Pre-Trial Conference is an informal gathering in the judge’s chambers and only the lawyers and the judge are present. The lawyers will explain to the judge what the issues are and each lawyer will present their client’s positions. The judge will then give recommendations to settle the issues. The recommendations are non-binding (neither side has to accept them) and either, or both, spouses can elect to go to trial. Unless your lawyer did not present your case well at the Pre-Trial Conference, it almost always makes sense to accept the judge’s recommendations or at least use them in settlement negotiations.
Trial: Unless you are forced to, you want to avoid trial. They are draining and expensive, both emotionally and financially. And remember, you are leaving the decisions which affect your kids, property and money to a stranger, who is only human and can make mistakes. A settlement in which you may not get everything you want might be better than “rolling the dice” at trial. Sometimes, however, you will have to go to the “mat” and take issues to trial. Again, discuss your options with your lawyer.Are You Considering Filing for Divorce?
If you are considering filing for divorce in Illinois, make sure you contact an experienced and dedicated Chicago divorce attorney today. The more time your attorney has to become familiar with your case, the better the outcome may be. The family law firm of The Taradash Group, P.C. has the experience and dedication you need to navigate any Illinois divorce. Click here, or call (312) 775-1020 to schedule your free initial consultation today.
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