Every party in a Kankakee County divorce plays a specific role. This can make it a confusing process, especially as there are different responsibilities based on whether you are the spouse filing for divorce or responding to the petition. Therefore, it is important to work with an experienced divorce lawyer who can guide you through the process.

The Role of the Spouse Filing for Divorce

The role of the spouse who initiated filing for divorce is known as the petitioner. Their name is listed on certain documents and they are responsible for paying the court fees and getting the case started. They are also responsible for notifying the other party. This could be accomplished by getting the other side to voluntarily get involved or by getting the process server to give them the papers.

The filing spouse’s lawyer can be their advocate. They can prepare all the documents to begin the process. They can also help determine the process. Finally, it is their responsibility to make sure the other side is notified legally of the proceedings and to make sure that anything done is valid.

What Does the Spouse Who Responds to Divorce Do?

The role of the spouse who is responding to the divorce is called the respondent in Illinois. They are the secondary party in the case. Once they are notified, they could choose to not take action and the petitioner could go ahead without them, they could file their own appearance and represent themselves, or they could retain counsel of their own. Once they get an attorney on their side, their attorney becomes tasked with filing the proper responses, preparing any necessary motions or other documents that might be needed for the case, and providing guidance.

The Judge

The role of the Kankakee County judge presiding over the divorce proceeding is going to be to grant the dissolution of marriage. The parties need a judge to sign off on the final agreement to make sure it follows the law and is ethical. The judge would approve settlement agreements or make decisions if the parties are unable to reach an agreement on their own.

When Is a Divorce Coach Involved?

The role of a divorce coach, which is relatively uncommon, is to help the parties make decisions for themselves and potentially for their children. They are cheaper than a lawyer and are similar to a general contractor. The divorce coach would introduce them to their lawyer. They might also help them get individual or family therapy if they need it. They help a person through the process, depending on their specific needs.

How a Mediator Can Help

The role of a mediator is to help facilitate an agreement between the parties. They do not work for the petitioner or for the respondent. They are there to help the parties reach an agreement, if possible. They listen to both sides and try to translate the rhetoric that might come from the parties into tangible language that could be used to facilitate an agreement.

The Role of the Children

The children of a divorcing couple have a role, but they do not have a say in terms of the litigation and what happens. However, their opinion might be heard in certain circumstances.

The court would consider the opinions of the children in a variety of ways. For example, the court could appoint a guardian ad litem, who would be considered an attorney for the children and advocate on their behalf. They could interview the parties and other potential witnesses to make a recommendation to the court on what they think would be in the best interest of the children in terms of custody. The children could also sometimes speak to the judge, depending upon the issues and the age of the child.

Ask An Attorney About the Roles in a Kankakee County Divorce

There are many different people typically involved in a divorce. Each person plays a different role in a divorce in Kankakee County. To better understand the different role and what they need, get guidance from the skilled attorneys at Reidy Law Office LLC.