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Schaumburg Lawyer Explains the Divorce Process in Illinois

Understanding the Divorce Process in Barrington

What Happens in a Divorce?

The end of a marriage is a difficult time for everyone involved, and divorce proceedings can become incredibly complicated. Whether you are considering ending your marriage or are already in the midst of a breakup, understanding the steps followed during divorce proceedings can help you survive the process.

Filing a Petition for Divorce

The divorce process begins when one spouse (called the petitioner) files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This petition will include any requests for relief, asking the court to make decisions regarding matters such as spousal maintenance, allocation of parental responsibility, child support, and division of property.

After the petitioner files for divorce, the other spouse (known as the respondent) will be served with the divorce papers. The respondent must file an appearance at the court where the petition was filed and a response to the petition within 30 days, and if they fail to do so, the judge may make a default judgment in the petitioner's favor and automatically grant any requests for relief.


After the petition and response, both parties will be required to fully disclose their respective financial information, including income, assets, and debts, to each other. The parties' attorneys may use a variety of methods to uncover information, including depositions, interrogatories, subpoenas, and requests for documents, and the parties are required to answer any requests fully and truthfully.

Negotiation, Status Calls, and Temporary Relief

Following Discovery, the parties will begin trying to work out how to resolve all of the details of the divorce. As they and their lawyers negotiate and work toward reaching a settlement, they will be required to regularly appear before the judge with status updates, during which either party may petition the court for temporary relief on matters such as spousal support, child support, child custody, or property division. If the judge grants any of these requests, a court order will be issued, and both parties will be required to abide by it unless it is changed by a subsequent court order or until the final divorce decree is entered. If the parties are unable to agree on any issues, the judge may order them to work with a mediator to find a solution.

Settlement or Trial

If the parties are able to come to an agreement on all matters in their divorce, a Marital Settlement Agreement will be drafted outlining the terms of the settlement. If the parties have children, a Parenting Plan will also be created outlining all child issues, including parenting time schedules, the parents' decision-making responsibilities, driving arrangements, holiday schedules, and access to school or medical records.

If the parties cannot agree on any or all of these issues, the case will go to trial. In a divorce trial, both parties' attorneys will present evidence, call witnesses, and make arguments for any remaining issues, and the judge will make a final decision and render a divorce judgment.


Most divorce cases do not go to trial, and spouses are able to reach an agreement on their Marital Settlement and Parenting Plan. When this agreement has been reached, a prove-up hearing will be held during which the judge will approve the signed documents and finalize the divorce. During this hearing, each party will be asked to confirm that they agree to the submitted documents and that they understand the terms of the divorce. Following this hearing, the final divorce decree will be issued.

Helping You Through the Divorce Process in Bloomingdale

At Anderson and Associates, P.C., we understand that divorce is complicated, and our knowledgeable, compassionate attorneys will work with you to help you understand each step of the process. With over 30 years of experience handling divorce cases, we can ensure that you are able to survive this difficult time. Contact a Schaumburg divorce lawyer at 847-995-9999 for an initial consultation. We serve clients throughout the northwest suburbs of Chicago including Palatine, Rolling Meadows, and Barrington.

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