When you decide to end your marriage and get a divorce, the process of separating from your spouse can be very complex. In addition to working out your new living situations and determining how you will share parental responsibilities and parenting time, you will need to disentangle your finances from each other and divide the property and assets you own together. When addressing all of these issues and any other matters related to your divorce, you have several different options. If you are able to cooperate during the divorce process, you may be able to reach a settlement through negotiation or mediation.
However, if the two of you cannot come to an agreement, your outstanding disputes may need to be resolved in the courtroom. During divorce litigation, your choice of a legal representative can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. At SBK Law Group, our Illinois family law attorneys have more than 25 years of combined legal experience, and we understand the many legal, financial, emotional, and practical issues that must be addressed when resolving divorce disputes. We can work with you to help you reach a divorce settlement that meets your needs, but if negotiations break down, we are fully prepared to represent your interests in the courtroom and help you achieve success in your case.
The divorce process begins when either you or your spouse file a petition for dissolution of marriage. The other spouse will file a response to this petition or, in some cases, a counter-petition, and you and your attorneys will then conduct discovery. You will each make a full disclosure of your marital and nonmarital assets and debts, as well as your sources of income. You may also request information from each other through your attorneys, ensuring that you have a full understanding of the financial issues that must be addressed to dissolve your marriage.
After you have identified all of the issues that you will need to address, you can attempt to negotiate with your spouse and determine how to resolve these matters. However, if you are unable to reach an agreement on some or all of the issues, you may need to resolve these disputes through litigation. Before your divorce trial begins, you and your spouse will each file a pretrial memorandum that describes your arguments, the evidence you will be presenting, and the witnesses you will be calling.
A pretrial conference will be held in which your respective attorneys will meet with the judge to review the issues that need to be settled. At this time, the judge may make recommendations on how to settle these issues without proceeding to litigation. If the two of you still cannot agree on a settlement, the trial will be held. During your divorce trial, your attorney will make arguments for why the judge should decide in your favor. Your lawyer may present evidence to support your claims or answer any claims made by your spouse, such as financial or medical records.
Both you and your spouse may provide testimony, and you may call other witnesses, such as family members, child custody evaluators, or financial experts. Your attorney and your spouse’s attorney will both be able to question any of these witnesses. Once all arguments have been made by both sides, the judge will review all of the relevant information and make a final ruling on the outstanding issues. He or she will issue a divorce judgment that legally dissolves your marriage. The judgment will be a court order, and both you and your spouse will be legally obligated to follow its terms, including turning over any property to each other, making any required spousal support or child support payments, and abiding by the specified parenting time schedules.
During a divorce trial, you need an attorney who is experienced in litigating cases in the courtroom and who can help you determine the best ways to resolve these matters in a way that protects your rights, your financial interests, and your children’s well-being. At SBK Law Group, we can provide the representation you need, and we will fight to help you achieve a positive outcome to your divorce. Contact us today online or by calling 630-427-4407. We provide representation to divorcing spouses throughout DuPage County, Kane County, Kendall County, Will County, and Cook County.