Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – Divorce Lawyer Hoffman Estates – FREE Consultation at 847-628-8311
Considering a divorce? Attorney Anthony R. Scifo represents clients from Hoffman Estates and other communities in the Chicagoland suburbs. From filing the initial paperwork to mediation and court proceedings, divorce can be a difficult experience. However, a Divorce Lawyer Hoffman Estates represents your interests and your rights every step of the way. As a result, you’ll come through the experience with the best possible outcome.
To talk confidentially with a Divorce Lawyer Hoffman Estates, call our firm today! Knowing your rights and knowing what to expect during the divorce process is beneficial to all parties involved. Simply getting some basic information and answers to your questions is a great way to start. We advise clients facing tough choices on how to proceed in ways that protect their interests.
An Overview of the Process and the Goals of Getting a Divorce in Illinois – Divorce Lawyer Hoffman Estates
When initiating a divorce, it’s relatively easy to define the goals both parties have for the short term. For example, these are typically matters like parental responsibilities and ownership of important assets like property and vehicles. Certainly, these are important issues because they have direct impact on both spouses. However, there are also long-range goals relating to divorce to consider too.
The long term objectives of a divorce typically include payments for child support or alimony. These matters require planning for college costs and healthcare. Another important consideration can involve the sharing of debt as well as savings.
While it is fairly simple to consider the immediate costs to address, it’s also important to consider debts. It’s important to manage debts so you won’t miss out on savings to which you contribute. Your lawyer will want you to consider when you might plan to retire and how your divorce might impact those plans.
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Making Compromises in Divorce
Going through a divorce can be an emotional time for both spouses. For some it may seem like the easiest solution to give in to the demands of the other spouse. Or, others may feel vengeful or upset and seek to punish the other spouse during the procedures. This line of thought can be counterproductive to your goals for the divorce. Keep in mind that you’re entitled to the same equal considerations as your ex-spouse. It may be difficult, but keeping a focus on your future is essential for protecting your best interests. It’s also useful to know that your spouse is in the same situation. With our law firm on your side, it helps minimize the stress of going through a divorce.
There are a number of different processes involved in a divorce. Knowing your options helps you choose which direction is the best one for you to take. One of the most popular options is mediation. This is when a neutral third party handles your case. A mediator facilitates issues like division of assets while weighing the demands of both spouses and divorce laws.
If you can’t reach an agreement, the divorce might go to trial. In that event, each party presents their claims and relevant evidence to a judge. In turn, the judge uses that information to make the divisions of property. It is helpful to be aware that all of your demands might not be met at first.
Working with a lawyer on prioritizing your demands assures that you’ll receive what you need to sustain your goals. Establishing priorities lets the deciding parties know what’s important to you.
When Your Divorce Case Goes to Trial – Divorce Lawyer Hoffman Estates
A trial will only become necessary when matters like spousal maintenance, parenting responsibilities, division of assets or child support can’t resolve through a settlement or a joint parenting agreement by the spouses and their lawyers. The function of a divorce trial is to have the court decide the issues that the spouses can’t agree on.
In contrast to a civil trial, a divorce trial does not involve a jury. Instead, a judge makes the decisions. Either side can call witnesses, but in many trials it’s only the spouses who present testimony and evidence.
From the day you file a divorce petition until the actual trial start date, your lawyer collects facts and information relevant to the court. This frequently entails depositions and written discovery. A pretrial meeting is also part of the procedure, when the lawyers present facts of the case to the judge and explain their position. At a pretrial meeting, the judge might advise that one side accepts a certain settlement based on what the judge may be deciding in court. Just before a divorce trial begins, some judges will offer both sides an opportunity to settle.
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Besides the absence of a jury, a divorce trial proceeds quite similar to a civil trial. Each Divorce Lawyer Hoffman Estates presents their opening statement, then presents testimony and evidence. The lawyers cross-examine witnesses if they are part of the case. Depending on how complicated a case may be, divorce trials can last for several days.
If either party is not happy with a judge’s final decision, they can appeal the decision to the appropriate appellate court. An appellate court doesn’t hear new evidence. It simply reviews the paperwork from the divorce trial along with a brief that states each party’s position.
The Divorce Timeline
The main issue in how long a divorce takes is whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce usually takes much less time than a contested one. Some uncontested divorces can be wrapped up in approximately two or three months, while some contested divorces can take several years. Beyond this key factor, the timetable for a divorce in Illinois depends on the issues and how open each party may be to making final decisions.
To start, courts in Illinois have a residential requirement. At least one of the spouses must live in Illinois for 90 days prior to filing for divorce. Also, state law requires that if decisions regarding child custody will be part of the proceedings, the children must reside in Illinois for at least six months. When no one contests a divorce, though, both parties can agree to waive the requirement that spouses live separate. Divorces that begin contested usually have a six month waiting time.
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Beyond the residency requirements in Illinois, the initial step in a divorce is to file a petition for dissolution of marriage. The timeline can range somewhat based upon the county court. However, after the county clerk receives this form, within the next two weeks you’ll receive a case number, judge presiding and your official summons. Usually a sheriff serves the summons to the other spouse too. Other factors can affect how long a case takes. Call our firm to today and learn more in a free consultation.
The Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo remains dedicated to serving our clients and fighting for their rights. Our law practice areas include probate, divorce, estate planning, child custody, guardianship and more. The communities we serve include Hoffman Estate, Elgin, South Elgin, St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, Hampshire, Carpentersville and Crystal Lake.