Frequently Asked Questions

You are here: Home » Family Law » Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my divorce take?

It is impossible to predict with reasonable accuracy how long a divorce will take. The length of time is dependant upon many factors, including but not limited to the complexity of the issues involved and the motivations, personalities, and time constraints of the parties and lawyers involved.

Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your current situation.

How much will my divorce cost?

The cost of a divorce is impossible to predict with reasonable accuracy, which is why nearly all divorce attorneys bill at an hourly rate as opposed to quoting a flat fee. This is because the cost is dependant upon many factors, including but not limited to the complexity of the issues, and the motivations and personalities of the parties and lawyers involved.·

Even so, a clearer understanding of your case will lead to a better understanding of these issues. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your current situation.

Can my spouse keep me from getting a divorce?

No. The State of Illinois will not force you to stay married to someone with whom you do not want to be married. However, the speed with which you can get divorced depends on both parties’ desire to settle all issues and the reasonableness of the settlement terms.

Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your current situation.

What is involved in filing a divorce?

The first step in a divorce is the filing of a petition. A petition is a document which tells the court who the parties are, who their children are (if any), and states generally what the person filing the petition is asking the court to do. A divorce petition always asks that a divorce be granted, and also states the grounds for the divorce. If there are children, the petition should state to whom the petitioner believes the children should be awarded.

Once a person is served with a summons, they must acknowledge the proceedings by filing an appearance with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The person seeking the divorce may also request temporary orders for the support and/or protection of the parties, the immediate preservation of their estate, or the immediate custody and/or protection of their children.

If you are considering filing a petition or have been served a summons, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your current situation.

What do I do if I have been served with a lawsuit?

If you have been served with a lawsuit, then you will need to speak with a lawyer immediately. It is not advisable to answer a divorce lawsuit without having at least consulted with an attorney.

If you have been served a summons, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your current situation.

What is the purpose of Temporary Orders?

Often parties cannot wait until a divorce is finally settled, as they have immediate issues which need to be resolved. A judge issues temporary court orders to outline what will happen during the time the divorce is pending, such as who will pay child support and/or spousal maintenance, who will pay bills, who will have the use of marital residence and other property and other issues that arise.

If you find yourself in the midst of dealing with Temporary Orders, we advise you speak to an attorney immediately. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your current situation.

How quickly can I get temporary orders?

A temporary restraining order, which asks that the opposing party not participate in basic malicious and destructive behavior, can be requested with the filing of the petition. Temporary restraining orders act as standing orders (see “What is the purpose of Temporary Orders” above). If further immediate action is needed, the other party must obtain a Temporary Restraining Order or a Temporary Protective Order. These orders are reserved for situations where a party can show that immediate harm would result if such action is not taken immediately.

If you find yourself in the midst of dealing with Temporary Orders, we advise you speak to an attorney immediately. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your current situation.

What if I know nothing about the property or accounts in my Estate?

There is often an imbalance of information between spouses with regard to their financial affairs. The imbalance may be – and often is – so great that one spouse is completely in the dark as to the extent and nature of the marital assets.

In such a case, investigation into the nature and extent of the marital estate will become a very high priority. This process is called “discovery.” Discovery includes, but is not limited to, the request for documents and information relevant to the case and depositions of the parties and/or expert witness. The opposing party would be asked many questions about the estate while under oath, both in written form and in person. Finally, experts may be hired to aid in the investigation of the estate.

These situations can quickly become complicated, and we advise you speak to an attorney immediately. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your current situation.

What if my spouse refuses to provide information about our estate?

In a divorce, spouses cannot refuse to provide information about the marital estate, if such information is relevant, or reasonably calculated to lead to relevant evidence. If a spouse refuses to provide information, then the Court can be moved to compel the disclosure of the information. If the Court compels the information, and a party still does not comply, the Court has the ability to hold the party in contempt, which may involve monetary fines or, in extreme cases, possible jail time.

These situations can quickly become complicated, and we advise you speak to an attorney immediately. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your current situation.

How much child support will I have to pay?

The answer to this question is dependant upon the circumstances of the individual case. However, like possession, child support is also subject to a presumption mandated by the legislature.

Read more about these conditions on our Child Support page, and contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your current situation.

How does the marital property get divided?

In a divorce, the court has the power to divide all property in a manner that the court feels is equitable, taking into consideration the circumstances of the parties and any children of the marriage. In deciding what is equitable, the court may consider many factors, including – but not limited to – the relative earning power of the parties, the ages and medical needs of the parties, the needs of the children of the marriage, and the separate property of the parties.

In the majority of cases, the parties to a divorce eventually agree on the division of their marital estate and enter into a marital settlement agreement. The settlement agreement, whether the terms of the decree are dictated by a judge or agreed to by the parties, partitions the property of the spouses. The property awarded to each spouse legally becomes the separate property of the spouse. Often, closing documents such as a quit claim deeds for real estate, stock transfers or qualified domestic relations orders for retirement accounts, are drafted and executed for transfer purposes.

Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your current situation.

What does it mean that Illinois is a “no fault state”?

The grounds of irreconcilable differences can be the reason for filing of the divorce petition providing one has been living separate and apart from their spouse for a period of six months or longer. Testimony would be presented that an irretrievable breakdown has occurred between the parties, that past attempts at reconciliation have been unsuccessful, and that future attempts would be futile.

Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your current situation.

Show Comments