Divorces can be devastating to the quality of life for spouses, children and close family members involved in the conflict. Contested divorces represent the worst kind of divorce because of the degree of animosity punctuating the entire event. Unfortunately, many contested divorces can drag on for up to two years if neither spouse is able to concede to any of the disputed issues.
Essentially, a contested divorce means that spouses do not agree upon terms regarding property division, child custody or even the divorce itself. Under Illinois divorce law, a contested divorce is indicated when one spouse does not want the divorce, when spouses disagree about where children should reside, disagree about the amount of child support, disagree about division of debts or disagree regarding implementation of alimony.
Although a divorce can be contested, a spouse cannot prevent another spouse from asking for and receiving a divorce in Illinois. If a spouse refuses to sign divorce papers, this action in no way exonerates him or her from eventually being legally divorced from the spouse who wants a divorce.
Divorce law in Illinois states that “contested trials shall be heard on a bifurcated basis with the grounds being tried first”. This means that contested divorce cases are divided into two sections—one that considers the grounds for the divorce (adultery, abandonment, etc.) followed by other problems needing addressed by the courts, such as child custody and fair property division. Once grounds for a contested divorce is proven, then failure of one spouse to agree to the divorce is inconsequential.
Basic stages of a contested divorce in Illinois include an initial meeting with a divorce attorney, serving the divorce petition, response to the petition, trial and appeals. When the response to the petition is hostile, contested divorce proceedings are initiated and the attorney representing the person wanting the divorce begins compiling evidence of legal grounds for that divorce.
The necessity of retaining an experienced Chicago-area divorce attorney is vital to expediting and receiving your contested divorce. Contact a professional divorce lawyer today to discover what your rights are and what you can do regarding the successful completion of a contested divorce.