The Divorce Litigation Process

Trust Our Illinois Divorce Lawyers in Court

No matter what your situation, litigating a family law case can be difficult and requires an experienced knowledge of the law. No matter what your situation, it is in your best interest to seek professional help from our skilled Illinois divorce attorneys.

Should You File for Divorce?

Only you can decide whether or not divorce is right for you. No divorce attorney should encourage you to divorce merely for business. However, if you are thinking about getting a divorce, you should be aware of the advantages or disadvantages of filing.

If you file before your spouse, you would have the perceived psychological advantage of being the petitioner, who might be perceived as the wronged party, the one unafraid to deal with the issues, or the spouse in need of a reprieve.

There are also certain perceived procedural advantages to being the petitioner, such as the right to present evidence first at the trial of your divorce case. Likewise, if your spouse refuses to respond at all to the divorce, it will still happen. Responding merely allows them the opportunity to negotiate different terms to the divorce.

Litigation Overview

  • Pre-plan: In some cases, pre-litigation conduct can affect the course of the litigation greatly. Keep your attorney up to date on all potential pieces of information. They can provide you with excellent legal advice and can help guide you in the right direction. This step can potentially help you avoid losing assets and making mistakes. This is also the step in which you can request temporary custody orders or orders of protection if you are in danger of domestic abuse.
  • Gathering evidence: Logic will be paramount. While you may be angry, any impassioned speeches or outbursts will not be used as evidence in court. They might even have a negative effect on your case. Evidence such as witness testimony, pictures of you and your children, home video, and social media posts can be used in court in your favor.
  • The Judge's role: Most cases settle when the evidence is straightforward and unquestionable. For example, many divorces can be settled through negotiation or mediation techniques. However, if the facts are disputable or can be argued, or if the spouses cannot agree, a judge will usually be needed to hear the case in a trial and issue an order to finally decide the issues. This is usually less advantageous, as it can take longer and be more expensive in the long run.

Attorneys Can Be a Huge Help

Judges rarely have the patience for pro se cases lacking legal representation, meaning they don’t have the time to listen to two married people bicker in court without the legal knowledge or terminology they require to make a good case. Law is complex, which is why it takes people years to become fully qualified attorneys. If you or your spouse require legal advice, the judge can’t help as a neutral representative.

Even simple cases will require an Illinois family law attorney to help protect your rights. Whether you are contemplating, initiating, or responding to a divorce, a divorce lawyer at Wakenight & Associates, P.C. can discuss your case with you over the phone in a FREE consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Wherever you may be located, we have offices near you to help. Visit us in Oak Park, Mokena, Joliet, Aurora, Elmhurst, Burr Ridge, St. Charles, Northbrook, Schaumburg, or Chicago Loop.

You can also call us in any of the following counties:

Cook: (888) 351-2843

DuPage, Kane, or Kendall: (888) 339-4162

Will, Kankakee, Grundy, or South Cook: (888) 303-1846