Do I Need an Attorney for My Divorce?
Divorce is among the available options to end your marriage in Illinois formally. However, matters involving domestic relationships are highly sensitive and need to be handled diligently. With delicate emotions, getting legal direction when going through a marital dissolution is crucial to avoid irreversible mistakes. A well-informed Illinois family law attorney can provide the dedicated advocacy you need when considering crucial decisions in your divorce.
Our legal team at Hawkins Law Office, P.C., is enthused to provide knowledgeable counsel and support to individuals and families in divorce-related matters. We have the resources to discuss your unique circumstances and gather ideas about your divorce options. Our firm proudly serves clients across Edwardsville, Hillsboro, Belleville, Vandalia, Jerseyville, Carlinville, and Greenville, Illinois.
Divorce in Illinois
Divorce is the legal process of terminating a marital relationship formally. To get a divorce in Illinois, one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least 90 days before filing the petition.
Divorce Grounds in Illinois
In addition, Illinois is a "no-fault" divorce state. According to state laws, individuals seeking divorce are not required to prove fault or show that their estranged spouse was responsible for the relationship breakdown. The acceptable grounds for a no-fault in Illinois divorce include:
Living separately and apart continuously for at least six (6) months.
However, there are a number of different contentious issues that make getting a divorce in Illinois quite complicated. The divorcing spouses may have to establish a living arrangement before the divorce case is finalized. Also, issues such as division of property, spousal support, child custody, child support, and parenting time must be resolved. That being said, consulting with an understanding lawyer is paramount for clear guidance and to help you navigate important decisions.
Contested Divorce vs. Uncontested Divorce
Additionally, divorce in Illinois may either be uncontested or contested.
In an uncontested divorce, both spouses mutually agree on all the key provisions of the divorce settlement, including alimony, property division, child support, custody, and visitation schedule. All the terms agreed upon must be properly documented and filed with the Illinois court for official approval.
Generally, uncontested divorce offers a simple, cost-effective, and stress-free way to end your marriage. A divorce lawyer can advocate for your legal rights and help keep the conversation productive and comprehensive.
Conversely, in a contested divorce, the spouses are unable to mutually agree on one or more crucial divorce terms. In such situations, the intervention of the Illinois court may be required to resolve any pending divorce issues or relationship differences.
During the divorce hearing, the judge will listen to both parties' arguments and issue a final verdict through a divorce decree. A proficient attorney can help represent you intelligently in court, present your case meticulously, and improve your chances of getting the most favorable judgment.
Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution which is usually used to settle legal issues. According to the Illinois Uniform Mediation Act. (710 ILCS 35/), mediation may be described as "a process in which a mediator facilitates communication and negotiation between parties to assist them in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding their dispute."
In divorce mediation, the spouses going through the divorce will come together to discuss the divorce issues and negotiate feasible divorce terms with the assistance of a neutral third party – mediator or mediation attorney. The neutral third party will explore areas of possible compromise and help the divorcing couples reach a feasible agreement.
However, the spouses may be required to attend the mediation session without their legal counsel. The mediator will carefully document all the details agreed upon during the session. Nevertheless, the divorcing spouses may still consult with their lawyer before reaching a final agreement.
Legal Guidance When You Need It Most
Filing for divorce in Illinois usually involves a lot of complex processes. Trying to negotiate a divorce settlement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, establishing alimony arrangements, dividing marital assets, and agreeing on parenting plans can make the whole marital dissolution process very difficult and overwhelming. Therefore, when considering a divorce, seek legal assistance from a family law attorney to help you make informed decisions.
Our team at Hawkins Law Office, P.C., can analyze your available divorce options and determine the right one for you. Whether you are seeking a contested or uncontested divorce, our attorney can help protect your best interests, facilitate the necessary discussions, and ensure that the divorce agreement is comprehensive, valid, and legally enforceable.
Contact Hawkins Law Office, P.C. today to arrange a simple consultation with a loyal divorce lawyer. Our dependable attorney has the dedicated advocacy and clear legal support you need to navigate intelligent decisions in your divorce. We're proud to serve clients across Edwardsville, Hillsboro, Belleville, Vandalia, Jerseyville, Carlinville, and Greenville, Illinois.