Chicago Dissolution of Marriage Lawyers
The breakdown of a marriage is a difficult process to go through. Emotions can run high, and even an amicable, mutual separation can suddenly turn ugly. Don’t go it alone. With the help of experienced Illinois divorce attorneys, you can start a dissolution of marriage knowing you have experts by your side.
We at Nottage and Ward, LLP, have years of experience helping people end their marriage as quickly and amicably as possible. A bad divorce can lead to years of debt, a downgrade in housing, and even the loss of parental rights. That is why you should never go into a separation without an attorney on your team. We will work hard to make sure that you get the best possible outcome for your divorce. To speak with a member of our team, call us at (312) 332-2915 today.
“Dissolution of marriage” is the term used for the beginning of the divorce process. In Illinois, when you decide that you need to end your marriage, you must first send in the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to the court. This document serves as notice to the court, and can be used as notice for your spouse as well. Even if your spouse is aware of your intentions, you must still send them a copy of the petition.
In order to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, you or your spouse must have been a resident of Illinois or stationed as an armed services member in Illinois for at least 90 days before filing. If you and your spouse live in two different counties, the petition may be filed in either one. In either case, you must be sure to include pertinent information in the petition before you send it to the court. This information can include:
- Current living addresses
- The grounds/reason for divorce
- Any children as a result from the marriage
In the past, a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage could be filed on either no-fault or fault grounds. However, today, Illinois remains solely a no-fault state and only requires a finding of irreconcilable differences. If the parties have lived separate and apart for a continuous period of not less than six months, there is an irrebuttable presumption that the requirement of irreconcilable differences has been met. The requirement of living separate and apart does not mean that the parties must have lived in separate households. It refers to the date the marriage broke down, even if the parties continued to reside together.
After the petition is filed with the court, a copy must be formally served on the non-filing spouse.1 The filing spouse may serve the other spouse through the sheriff's office, but many prefer to use a private process server. If your spouse has an attorney, you may serve the attorney with a copy of the petition instead of your spouse.
The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, while not the only document that you will have to file with the court, sets up your entire divorce process. Even if it seems straightforward to you, you will want an attorney to look over it and ensure that is it written properly and effectively. If the petition is not filed correctly, it could set your divorce proceedings on the wrong foot before they even begin.
The truth is that divorce is not an easy process to go through. Even if you and your spouse agree that it is for the best, one wrong move could turn a calm divorce into a battlefield. You may disagree on who gets what property, who the pets should stay with, and who should get primary child allocation. While you may agree with your spouse that it is time to separate, you may not agree on what a separation actually looks like. Your best bet to getting a positive outcome for your divorce is to work with an experienced family law attorney, who can walk you through the process.
Divorce is a highly emotional decision. You may have no clear idea how a divorce, once begun, will end. No matter if your former spouse and you are on good terms, you should still seek the help of skilled attorneys to ensure that your rights are protected. The Illinois divorce attorneys at Nottage and Ward, LLP, have the experience and knowledge to help you establish a positive outcome in your divorce proceedings. Contact our experienced Cook County dissolution of marriage attorneys today at (312) 332-2915 to schedule a consultation. We are ready to help you.
1 Unless your spouse voluntarily files his/her Appearance with the Court, either through an attorney or pro se.
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Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for
Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for in a very complicated, emotional matter. She has continuously looked out for my best interest and the best interest of my son. She is always prompt in getting back to me and in keeping me well informed about my case.
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