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9 Things to Consider at the Start of Your Divorce

Does it Help to be the First to File?

Do You Gain by Filing First? Answer: No. The seasoned attorneys that we have spoken with agree that no significant benefit is derived by the party that files for divorce first just because he or she was the first to file. (This does not apply, however, in situations where the parties have a choice of counties in which to bring the case and the filing party has a preference regarding this issue.)* No strategy or better positioning is gained by … [Read more…]

Can We Use One Attorney?

What’s the deal on using one lawyer? It is unethical for an attorney to represent or give legal advice to opposing parties, whether it is a friendly case or not. When we hear of parties “using the same attorney,” the likelihood is that they are doing something different. There is a way for one lawyer to provide divorce legal services ethically in this circumstance.

Do We have to be Separated Six Months before We Can File for Divorce?

Answer: No. You can file even if you haven’t been separated for one minute. Illinois law does not require you to be separated before you can file for divorce. This is true no matter which of the eleven grounds is used. If you opt to proceed on the ground of irreconcilable differences (no fault), you must establish that you have been separated for a certain length of time, but you don’t have to accrue all or any of the separation time before filing … [Read more…]

Can My Spouse Stop Me from Getting a Divorce?

Answer: No. You do not need your spouse’s consent to get a divorce, but you must be able to prove that he or she committed one of Illinois’ eleven grounds for divorce.

Does the Court Make Us Go to Marriage Counseling?

Answer: No. While the court is sensitive to maintaining the integrity of the family unit, it is not within its province to require a party to reconsider his or her decision to seek a divorce.

Do I Have to Live in Illinois Before I Can File for Divorce?

Answer: No. You can file for divorce on the day you move into Illinois, or before you actually move into Illinois, provided you are a continuous resident of Illinois for 90 days prior to your court hearing.

Does it Matter if We Were Married in Another State?

Answer: No, but what does matter, is where you and your spouse reside at the time of the divorce.

Do I Have to Remain in Illinois until the Divorce is Final?

Answer: No. If you were a continuous resident of Illinois for 90 days prior to filing, you have satisfied Illinois’ jurisdictional requirement, and you are free to move out of state without affecting your case. However, you will have to return whenever your presence in court is required.

Can I Get a Divorce If I Don’t Know Where My Spouse is?

Answer: Yes. The Court has jurisdiction to go ahead and dissolve the marriage by virtue of your residency within the state. However, it cannot order your spouse to pay or do anything until it gets jurisdiction of your spouse. Once your ex is located and lawfully served with Summons, the court may revisit the initial divorce case and make its rulings on all of the remaining items.

For More Information:

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Richard and Kari are staunch advocates of the non-court approach to divorce, and are also active and seasoned litigators with over 60 years of combined trial experience in the Illinois divorce courts of Cook, DuPage, and Will counties.


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