Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a legal divorce? A legal divorce is the dissolution of a marriage which leaves both parties free to remarry.
Q: What is needed in order to file a petition for divorce? The petition is the first step in the process of divorce, and no other documents need accompany it – the petition suffices by itself by stating what exactly the reason for divorce is.
Q: Can the provisions in a divorce decision ever be changed? Not unless either party has committed fraud, or makes a misrepresentation.
Q: What is a legal separation? A legal separation is when a couple is still married, but voluntarily chooses to live apart. The Judge will have made a decision on this, including specifics such as who has custody of the children, child support, etc.
Q: Can I get a divorce without going to court? Yes. If you and your spouse agree on the terms of your divorce, than only one spouse needs to go to court as a trial is unnecessary.
Q: Does my spouse have a claim on possessions that are solely in my name? Yes. It does not matter whose name property is under because legally, “all property acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage and before the execution of a separation agreement...” is identified as “marital property”, and therefore can be equally distributed.
Q: Can my spouse have me removed from the house? Only under extreme circumstances, such as the presence of domestic violence, or overwhelming drug abuse.
Q: What role does counseling play in the divorce process? Counseling can be helpful if you are trying to maintain a healthy relationship with your current spouse, or want to avoid a particularly nasty divorce–in short, making the process as painless as possible. You should be careful with regards to the fact that everything you say in counseling can be used against you in a court of law.
Q. How long will my case take? It is usually hard to tell. Most of the cases we handle are concluded within two to four months. If we have a difficult attorney or a litigious spouse on the other side, things will take much longer.
Q. How is property divided? You will receive all of your non-marital property. Your spouse will receive all of his or her non-marital property. All of the marital property and debt will be divided equitably or fairly. Illinois is an “equitable division” state. Property is divided according to fairness, not necessarily 50/50. There is no cut and dry formula.