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What Are the Steps Involved in a Contested Divorce in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County contested divorce attorney

There are two types of divorce cases in Illinois: contested and uncontested. If you and your spouse cannot agree about the terms of your divorce, your divorce is contested. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be able to reach an agreement about divorce issues through negotiation, mediation, or collaborative law. If you cannot reach a settlement outside of court, your case will go to trial. Although divorce can vary from case to case, there are several basic steps involved in the contested divorce process in Illinois.

What to Expect During the Contested Divorce Process

Reaching an agreement about asset and debt division, the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, child support, and spousal maintenance is not always easy. This is especially true in complex divorce cases such as those involving high income or hard-to-value assets. If you know that you and your spouse will struggle to reach an agreement about one or more divorce issues, your divorce will likely involve the following steps:

  • Filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage: You or your spouse will file a petition for divorce with the court. The petition is then served to the other spouse in person or by mail. The person who files for divorce is called the petitioner and the spouse who responds to the petition is called the respondent.

  • Responding to the Divorce Petition: The respondent has 30 days to respond to the petition. He or she uses this opportunity to tell the court whether he or she agrees or disagrees with the terms of the petition.

  • Discovery: The spouses’ respective attorneys obtain information about the relevant divorce issues. This may include data about income, assets, and debts as well as information relevant to child custody. The discovery process may include written interrogatories, admissions of fact, requests for production of certain documents or information, and in-person depositions.

  • Settlement: In the majority of contested divorce cases, spouses are able to reach a settlement. They may be able to reach an agreement about the unresolved issues with help from their attorneys or through an alternative dispute resolution method such as mediation. If the spouses cannot reach an agreement, the divorce will go to trial.

  • Litigation: During the divorce trial, your attorney will present arguments and evidence to the judge. He or she may also call witnesses, including expert witnesses such as child psychologists or forensic accountants, to the stand to testify. The judge will then issue a ruling about the unresolved issues.

  • Post-Trial Motions and Appeals: If you or your spouse believe that the final judgment is unfair or based on false information, you have the option to file a post-trial motion or appeal.  

Contact a Burr Ridge Contested Divorce Lawyer

Contested divorce cases do not always go to trial, but sometimes court intervention is the only way to resolve disputes about child custody, child support, property division, or spousal maintenance. At the distinguished law firm of Botti Marinaccio, LTD., we provide aggressive legal representation and dependable guidance at all stages of the divorce process. Call our office today at 630-575-8585 to schedule your personalized consultation with one of our skilled Hinsdale divorce attorneys.



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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.


2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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