Chicago Divorce Lawyers

Divorce is a major transition in your life and is often a very emotional and stressful time. You will have to make decisions that will affect the rest of your life at a time when it can be difficult to think clearly and objectively. When there is a lot at stake and conflict is high, your divorce can quickly escalate into a bitter battle. That is when you need an experienced, knowledgeable Illinois divorce attorney to represent you.

We understand that each family is unique, so we will work with you to produce the optimal resolution for your family’s individual needs and circumstances. Throughout our representation, we will vigorously protect your rights and make sure that no detail, however seemingly small, is overlooked.

Illinois is a “No-Fault” State

Illinois is a “no-fault” state. You are eligible for divorce in Illinois if you can prove to a judge that you have “irreconcilable differences.” Irreconcilable differences generally mean that your marriage has irretrievably broken down with no chance of reconciliation. Generally, whenever a person is filing for divorce, they have reached this point. However, the easiest way to prove “irreconcilable differences” is for you and your spouse to live separately and apart for at least six months. This does not necessarily mean that you and your spouse must live in separate residences or be legally separated. Rather, it means that you and your spouse have separated your emotional and physical lives together.

Jurisdictional Requirements in Illinois

To obtain a divorce, at least one spouse must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days prior to the filing of the petition for divorce or 90 days prior to the court granting the divorce. The first legal step is for one of you to file for divorce by filing a “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.” Your divorce can be contested (when the spouses are not in agreement regarding one or more issues – including whether they want a divorce) or uncontested (when both spouses agree on all of their issues).

If your Illinois divorce is contested, our capable and experienced legal team at Hammer Serna & Quinn will ensure that the process is as efficient as possible while achieving your goals.

Timeline of Potential Divorce Issues to Address

In general, divorces follow the following timeline of events:

  1. Consultation: Consult with an experienced Illinois family law attorney at Hammer Serna & Quinn.
  2. Filing: File your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. After filing, you will have to serve your spouse with the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  3. Child-related issues: If you have minor children (under 18 years old), the Court will prioritize all decisions regarding parental responsibilities (custody), parenting time (visitation) as well as child support for your children. Often at this time, the Court will send you and your spouse to see a mediator. A mediator is a neutral third party that will attempt to help you and your spouse resolve the issues pertaining to parental responsibilities and parenting time for your children without the need for the Court to make decisions on the children’s behalf.
  4. Marital assets/debts and Spousal Support: In most cases, the Court will address financial issues after the children’s issues have been resolved. Property division and spousal support can be a source of dispute between divorcing couples and often requires extensive negotiations or litigation.
  5. Resolution: If you reach an agreement with your choice a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage and a Marital Settlement Agreement are entered by the court. If you cannot reach an agreement a trial will be held and your Judge will render their decision and enter a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage.

Get In Touch

Call or email Hammer Serna & Quinn, LLC today to schedule a consultation.