The Divorce Process
The divorce process is typically a combative process. An uncontested divorce is the divorce process where two spouses recognize the benefits of seeking an agreement on the issues. An uncontested or collaborative divorce is a divorce in the State of Illinois where the parties agree on all the major issues involved in a divorce. Thus, the parties resolve their differences by either seeking an independent mediator or meeting with one another (that can only represent one of the parties) that works in his client’s best interest to seek an agreement when possible. Here are the major issues involved in a divorce case in Illinois:
- Property division and division of assets such as the marital home, retirement and pension allocations, child support, and other property division issues;
- Child Support
- Division of Liabilities and Debts
- Retirement Income and Pension Allocation
- Real Estate Interests
- Spousal Support or otherwise known as “Alimony” or “Spousal Maintenance”
- Allocation of Parental Rights and Responsibilities including a parenting plan
Sean Robertson and the attorneys of Gateville Law Firm work cooperatively with their client and their client’s spouse to identify and recommend possible amicable agreements or in the alternative refer the spouses to a divorce mediator to resolve their differences (if possible). Often, divorce mediation or an uncontested divorce is a cost-effective and practical approach to a dissolution of a marriage.
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
The first step in a divorce case in the State of Illinois is filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is the initial divorce paperwork which is filed with the appropriate courthouse. In summary, a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is a brief description of the marital issues and property involved in a divorce case and how the Judge should handle these issues. Consequently, in an uncontested divorce case a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage may be somewhat generic to avoid or minimize the possibility of a dispute (among the parties). Often, a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is the initial paperwork and it often sends a contradictory message (then the intended message meant to be sent).
Marital Settlement Agreement
A Marital Settlement Agreement is a written outline of the issues involving a divorce case and the agreement between the parties. The Marital Settlement Agreement is essentially the financial terms of the settlement, which outlines the financial settlement terms of the parties. Typically, in an uncontested divorce, the issues of child support and spousal support are minimal. A collaborative different is much more difficult when the parties have substantial issues or parenting concerns to negotiate.
Parenting Plan or Custody Agreement (if there are children)
A Parenting Plan or Custody Agreement is a written agreement describing the key parenting issues and how the parties will make parenting decisions. Furthermore, the parenting plan or otherwise known as a “custody agreement” or “joint parenting agreement” is a description of the specific parenting time including parental rights and responsibilities of each parent. A well-written parenting plan is essential to minimize parental conflicts and set-up a well-defined process for joint parenting.
Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage
A Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage is a summary of how the divorce court and Judge finds on major issues involving the marriage. A dissolution of marriage is the process for unwinding a divorce. Essentially, a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage are the findings of the divorce court.
Prove up is the final process in a divorce case. A prove up is where the Plaintiff or the parties go to court and explain why the court should approve the marital settlement agreement and parenting plan. A divorce judge must find that the divorce agreements are acceptable and fair to the parties. A divorce judge will not enter an unfair divorce agreement, which is against public policy. One of the benefits of a quality divorce attorney is the ability to craft and advocate a marital settlement agreement, which will pass the judicial scrutiny of a Judge.
In conclusion, Sean Robertson and Gateville Law Firm practice in the areas of uncontested divorce and navigate the divorce process. Our law firm practices in the counties of Kendall, Will, DuPage, Kane, and Grundy Counties. We believe in the collaborative and uncontested divorce process when it is practical and in the best interests of our client. We may be reached at 630-780-1034.