Role of a Judge in a Will County Contested Divorce

Divorce is a complex process in Illinois, and it can be difficult to understand how judges and court procedures apply to your situation. If you are going through a contested divorce, you should contact the experienced lawyers at Reidy Law Office LLC. Our firm understands the role of a judge in a Will County contested divorce and can help guide you through the process.

How a Judge Approaches Will County Divorces

The judges in Will County have their own preferences on how to treat a contested divorce situation. They may try to break things up into stages when the case involves minor children. The first thing the court is concerned about is a parenting plan and an allocation judgment.

Mediation

If the parties cannot reach an agreement rather quickly in the case, the court may order them to attend mediation. The mediation helps the parties decide if they can reach an agreement on their own. If they cannot reach an agreement on their own, the judge could make a decision depending on the issues. If the parties are too far apart in what they want after mediation and negotiation, a guardian ad litem might be appointed to investigate on behalf of the children and report back to the court on what may be in the best interest of the children.

The issues with allocation and parenting time could be settled quickly or take a long time. One hundred percent of the responsibility for resolving the issues falls to the parents. If the parents can put their own needs and wants aside and focus on the best interest of the children, they should be able to reach an agreement.

Pre-Trial Meetings

The courts try to let the parties involved in a contested divorce work things out if possible. If the parties reach a stalemate, they may ask the judge for a pre-trial conference. Will County has two types of pre-trials: an impromptu pre-trial that is informal and a more formalized pre-trial conference.

The informal pre-conference might be implemented when there are one or two small issues and the attorneys understand the positions of each side.

A formal pre-trial conference might happen if the parties have already negotiated with each other and done everything possible. They exchanged discovery, tried to resolve the issues, and are still at a stalemate.

Informal Pre-Conferences

The informal pre-conference might be implemented when there are one or two small issues and the attorneys understand the positions of each side. The attorneys arrange to speak with the judge off the record and outside the presence of the parties. Each attorney explains their client’s position and the judge makes recommendations to the parties. However, the recommendations are not binding.

The attorneys then inform their clients about the judge’s proposals. If the parties agree with the judge’s suggestions, they can accept them and move forward. If the parties disagree, they have their day in court to show formal evidence to change the judge’s mind. In an informal pre-trial conference, there is no way a judge can hear everything that is important about the case. The judge gets only a quick summary of the facts from the attorneys to make a recommendation.

Formal Pre-Trial Conferences

Sometimes in a contested divorce matter, the judge has the more formalized pre-trial conference. At this point, the parties have already negotiated with each other and did everything possible. They exchanged discovery, tried to resolve the issues, and are still at a stalemate.

The formal pre-trial conferences are held on Friday afternoon in Will County. The parties are required to admit a formalized pre-trial memorandum to the judge no later than the Tuesday before the pre-trial. The memorandums identify the issues each party believes are relevant to their positions on the issues. They might also submit documentation to support their position. The judge has an opportunity to review the documents before the pre-trial conference.

Contacting a Will County Contested Divorce Attorney

Contact Reidy Law Office LLC today to discuss your contested divorce. The role of a judge in a Will County contested divorce can vary depending on your circumstances, but our firm has the experience needed to understand your case.

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