There are many reasons for a divorce. In some cases, it is because a couple grows apart and comes to the mutual decision to part ways. An amicable divorce typically means both partners agree on all or most of the marital issues. This makes the divorce process simple, fast, and less expensive than a contested divorce. An uncontested divorce is not always possible, especially if one spouse does not want the divorce in the first place. If a divorce is contested, it could also mean that the spouses do not agree on issues such as child support, spousal support, and the division of property. This animosity can carry over into the divorce proceedings, so if you are contesting any issues in your divorce, it is imperative to have legal counsel to protect your rights.
Illinois Divorce Laws
In the state of Illinois, the only legal grounds for divorce is irreconcilable differences, which, defined by the law, “have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” Also, it must be determined by the court that attempts to reconcile failed or that future attempts at reconciliation would not in the best interests of the family. Any divorce, whether contested or uncontested, begins with one spouse filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and “serving” the other spouse with the papers.
Reasons for Contesting the Divorce
The spouse who did not file can still try to contest the divorce by stating that there are no irreconcilable differences. However, under Illinois law, if the parties have lived apart in separate residences for at least six months right before one spouse files the petition, there is an “irrebuttable presumption” of irreconcilable differences between the pair.
In the majority of divorce cases, one spouse will contest the divorce because of disagreements on marital or child-related issues. These can include issues such as:
- Allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody)
- Amount of child support and/or spousal maintenance (alimony) to be paid
- Parenting time (visitation)
- Division of marital assets
- Division of any marital debts
What Are Temporary Orders?
In some circumstances, a divorce attorney can request a hearing regarding the contested issues. It is important to note that the hearing may be requested at the same time the divorce petition is filed or at a later date.
Every divorce is different, but when a divorce is contested, it can take months to complete. The attorney may request a hearing to establish temporary orders. This can establish orders that will be in effect while the divorce proceedings are going on, up until the divorce is finalized. For example, orders can address the immediate issues of childcare, property maintenance, mortgage or utility bills, and more. Temporary orders can also apply to parenting responsibilities, child support, and spousal support.
In a contested hearing, each party will have the chance to show evidence to help the court decide on how to rule on short-term issues. Temporary orders are valid until the final divorce decree is issued or one party requests to modify and the judge grants that motion.
Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney
Although an ideal divorce would be finalized without any disputes, that is not the norm. In many cases, a divorce is contested. This can be due to arguments over the children or marital assets. If you were served with divorce papers and want to contest the petition, you need professional legal advice. The Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II P.C. know the Illinois divorce laws and how they relate to contesting a dissolution of marriage. We will advocate for your rights in family court. Call one of our skilled Geneva contested divorce lawyers today at 630-200-4882 to schedule a free consultation.