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Lawyers Explain Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce in Chicago



Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce

It is understandable for divorcing spouses to endure enormous amounts of emotional and mental distress due to their intimate history and the implications of starting a new life apart from one another. However, legal and financial procedures do not have to be contentious, drawn out, and costly. With legal assistance from the right divorce attorney, you can finish your divorce and move on with your life.

For over 30 years, the Chicago-based family law firm of Nottage and Ward, LLP, has been guiding clients through the divorce process. With our help, you can make the best decisions for your family going forward.

Nottage and Ward, LLP is listed by Martindale-Hubbell in its Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers for achieving legal excellence.

To learn more, contact our office by calling (312) 332-2915 today.

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What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, allowing spouses to end a marriage without having to prove wrongdoing by the other party. This simplifies the divorce process, making it easier for couples to avoid acrimonious disputes.

Many divorcing couples in Illinois choose to have an uncontested divorce where both parties agree to all the terms of the divorce settlement without requiring the court’s intervention. In an uncontested divorce, both parties and their attorneys work together to address and resolve issues amicably.

These issues may include:

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The Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce only works when both parties are willing to sit down and iron out their differences together. Once the spouses and their lawyers have come to an agreement on a divorce settlement, they should only have to appear in court one time to have the judge go over and validate their settlement deal.

If both spouses are able to agree on the details, one spouse can fill out the necessary paperwork, and the other spouse only needs to sign it. Then the divorce papers will be filed with the court.

Benefits of an uncontested divorce include:

  • Save time
  • Save money
  • Less stressful for children
  • Increased harmony
  • A judge will not control the outcome
  • Avoid contentious settlement negotiations
  • Avoid trial

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What Is a Contested Divorce?

When the two parties cannot come to an agreement and resolve all of the divorce-related issues on their own, then you will have to allow a judge to decide the terms of your divorce. In a contested divorce, both parties may be required to appear in court many times and will probably have to testify in front of a judge at some point.

There are two primary disadvantages to going through with a contested divorce. First, it’s generally more expensive and time-consuming. Second, since the judge is granted the power to resolve all issues, both parties cede control and may end up being dissatisfied with the judge’s ruling as a result.

If you are unable to come to an agreement with your spouse, or if your spouse is unwilling to negotiate in good faith, a contested divorce may be your best option. In these situations, it’s important to find a skilled and trusted attorney who will help you navigate the divorce process and safeguard your rights.

An Illinois contested divorce includes the following steps:

  1. Filing divorce papers
  2. Serving paper notifying your spouse
  3. A case management conference (CMC) where the judge sets deadlines and court dates and makes decisions about how the trial will proceed
  4. Discovery. Both parties request information from the other side
  5. Negotiations between the two spouses and your attorneys
  6. Divorce trial. Attorneys will present evidence, question witnesses, and argue their case in front of the judge.
  7. The judge will issue the final decree.

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Protecting Your Rights in a Chicago Divorce

The Chicago divorce attorneys at Nottage and Ward, LLP are renowned in Illinois for providing top-tier legal assistance and representation to individuals in a wide variety of family law affairs.

To receive an honest assessment of your divorce case and your legal options, contact our office at (312) 332-2915 today.

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Client Reviews

Five Stars5 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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Avvo Top Contributor Family Law - Jeffrey Knipmeyer
Avvo Top Contributor Divorce Law - Jeffrey Knipmeyer