If you are going through a divorce and you cannot agree with your spouse, your divorce is considered a contested divorce. Here, the court may need to make a unilateral decision either for specific issues or for every portion of the case. This can include the division of property, the assignment of debt, and the custody and care of your children.
A DuPage County lawyer could advocate on your behalf during a contested divorce. A well-versed divorce lawyer can help by working with you to identify your goals, initiate cases in court, and make your arguments clear.
No matter the reason for wanting a divorce, family courts must follow a specific process when handling these cases. A contested divorce always starts when a spouse files a petition for dissolution of marriage. It is important to note that, according to 750 ILCS 5/401(a), a family court can only hear a divorce petition when one of the spouses has been a resident of the state for at least 90 days prior to filing a petition or 90 days before the Judgment
The spouse that files a petition in court must then serve the petition to the other spouse. That spouse then files an appearance form as a formal notice that they intend to participate in the proceedings.
The court can order that both parties share information about assets, debts, and spending records in a process called discovery. At the same time, the court may be encouraging the parties to reach a settlement, often in court-supervised mediation sessions. As a result, few divorces end up at trial.
Your children are a key concern in any contested divorce. The petitions needed to initiate a divorce case are different based on whether you have children. It is essential to remember that courts must always keep the best interests of children in mind, especially during a divorce. As a result of this mandate, courts can require that you and your spouse attend parenting classes so that you can better understand the effect of the divorce on your children.
Additionally, courts must take great care to issue rulings concerning the custody and support of a child. This can involve the creation of a detailed parenting plan as well as an order for a parent to provide child support payments. Because many divorcing parents will disagree as to how to handle the future of their children, child custody and support issues are a major reason that many divorces remain contested. An attorney can help you make sure your children are provided for in your contested divorce.
A DuPage County divorce lawyer can handle every aspect of a contested divorce. From the initial requirements for starting a case or responding when your spouse has made the first move, to properly cataloging your assets and discovering your spouse’s liabilities, to fighting for the best future for your children, the team at Reidy Law Office LLC can help. Call us today to get started on your case.