The Illinois Divorce Process

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The Illinois Divorce Process

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The Illinois Divorce Process

Helping Clients Resolve Their Divorce

If you want to end your marriage in Illinois, one of your biggest questions may be: How does the divorce process actually work? You likely know that the court will be involved in some way, but you may be unsure of what exactly this means and the specific legal challenges you may face. The truth is that the divorce process can look somewhat different for each couple, but understanding the basics of the process in Illinois can help you prepare for what to expect.

At Reifman Law Offices, we want our clients to feel confident throughout the divorce process, whatever shape it may take. With nearly 20 years of legal experience, we can review the details of your case and help you understand the issues that you will need to address and the best course of action for doing so. From there, we will guide you through each step of the process until you reach a fair resolution.

File a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

The first official step in the Illinois divorce process is filing a petition for dissolution of marriage with the court in your county of residence. You must have lived in Illinois for the past 90 days in order to file, and you must file for your no-fault divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, meaning that your marriage has irreparably broken down. However, the circumstances surrounding the filing of the petition can be quite different depending on your situation.

Negotiate an Agreement on Key Issues

Many couples choose to jointly file their petition for divorce after already discussing and agreeing on all of the issues at hand, including property division, spousal support, child support, and child custody. This is known as an uncontested divorce, and as long as the court finds that the agreement is valid and conscionable, the divorce can be finalized fairly quickly. If you are interested in an uncontested divorce, we can help you negotiate an agreement with your spouse and file your petition and accompanying documents.

Receive a Response

It is also common for one spouse to file for divorce on their own, especially if there are still important issues to resolve. When a spouse files on their own, they also need to serve notice to the other spouse and give them an opportunity to file a response. In this case, the process of reaching a resolution usually takes place mostly after the petition has been filed.

Resolve Outstanding Divorce Issues

Once a petition and response have been filed, the court will determine the remaining issues that must be resolved and initiate the process of reaching a resolution. This typically includes a discovery phase, in which each spouse and their attorney can ask the other spouse to answer questions and provide information and documents, usually related to their financial assets. This helps to ensure that the spouses are on equal footing for the property division process.

Reach a Settlement Through Mediation

Often, the court will encourage spouses to reach a settlement before proceeding with a divorce trial. A settlement may be reached through negotiations in which each spouse is represented by an attorney, or through court-ordered mediation, in which a neutral third party helps guide the spouses toward an agreement. These dispute resolution methods can help spouses retain control over the outcome of the divorce and avoid some of the time and costs of litigation.


Litigation is sometimes necessary. In a divorce trial, the court will hear testimony and review evidence from both spouses, and the judge will deliberate on the appropriate terms to include in the divorce resolution. In divorce litigation, the judge’s decisions are final and binding, and each spouse will be expected to abide by them.

Contact a Palatine Divorce Attorney

If you have questions about what the divorce process will look like for you, we can review your case and help you prepare for what is to come. Contact us at 847-229-8433 to schedule a free initial consultation. We represent divorce clients in Palatine, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows, Barrington, Streamwood, West Dundee, Hoffman Estates, and the surrounding areas.

At Reifman Law Offices,

we will take the weight of dealing with family legal issues off of your shoulders.
Call Us 847-229-8433

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Arkady Reifman



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