A quick overview of the steps in the Will County divorce process includes filing a petition to begin your case, using discovery to obtain any necessary financial information about the other party, and determining your marital settlement agreement. If you have children, then you will also need to have an allocation of parental responsibilities judgment and parenting plan. Read on to learn more about how a dedicated lawyer could assist you throughout your divorce procedure today.
Your case starts with the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage. This document basically asks the court to ultimately dissolve an individual’s marriage and to enter either a parenting judgment or a settlement agreement. When someone files the petition, they need to have the other side aware and voluntarily willing to appear and file an appearance because the petition is a legal document letting the court know that the parties recognize that a legal case has actually started and is more than just a conversation.
If the other party is not willing to do that, you will have a summons issued and get the other party properly served with those papers. That can be done with either a private process server or the county sheriff who is knowledgeable about the steps in the Will County divorce process.
Once the other party has been formally served with the petition, that other side has 30 days to file an appearance in the case. The next steps in the Will County divorce process cannot begin until this occurs. As soon as they have initialized the starting of the case, it then moves into discovery. Discovery is the opportunity to learn as much or as little about the other side’s finances or background as you wish, depending upon the issues of your case.
As you are working through discovery, you are simultaneously drafting settlement agreements and determining the issues that need to be resolved. After the parties have negotiated, if they have reached a settlement and they write it down, they come to the judgment for the dissolution of their marriage.
If you have children, you are going to have an allocation of parental responsibilities judgment and parenting plan along with a marital settlement agreement. The parenting plan includes all the issues that relate to your children. The marital settlement agreement includes all the issues that relate to your finances, whether in the form of assets or liabilities.
If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the case would ultimately end in a trial. During the trial, you would present your evidence and testimony to ask the judge for the relief that you want. The other side would do the same and the judge would make a decision. This process can take anywhere from 30 days to a few years depending on what needs to be covered.
If you have additional questions regarding the steps in the Will County divorce process, consider retaining the expertise of a dedicated family attorney to advocate for you today.