What is a contested divorce?

Contested Divorce in Illinois

Most commonly, the term is used to describe the divorce process where both parties want divorce but can’t agree on issues like child custody, child and spousal support and property division.

Every divorce, contested or uncontested, begins with filing a divorce petition and service of process on the spouse who didn’t file the petition. If there are contested issues, one of the Illinois divorce lawyers may request a hearing. The hearing may be requested at the same time the divorce petition is filed or at a later date.

Temporary Orders in Contested Divorce

Depending on the case, the divorce attorney may request a hearing to establish temporary orders. The purpose of the temporary hearing is to establish orders that will remain in effect until the divorce is final. A contested divorce case may take months or longer to complete – life doesn’t stand still during that time. Someone must care for the children, pay bills and maintain property.

Temporary orders may be entered by agreement or established at a contested hearing. If a contested hearing is necessary, both spouses will have the opportunity to present a limited amount of evidence to help the divorce court decide on how to rule on short-term issues. Temporary orders remain in effect until either the final divorce decree is entered or a party moves to modify and the judge grants that motion.

During the Pending Divorce

While a divorce is pending, each spouse’s attorney may request discovery from the other spouse. This may include income records, deeds or titles to property, business account records, credit card bills and other spending records, proposed witness lists and almost anything else that may relate to the financial, custody, and visitation issues in a divorce case. At the same time, the court may require the parties to attend divorce mediation, custody counseling or other programs designed to help with the divorce process and prevent stress on children.

The Final Hearing

At a contested final hearing, the judge will hear evidence from both parties. This may include testimony from both spouses, other witnesses, financial records, police or medical reports and any admissible form of evidence. The evidence presented helps to establish fair division of debts and assets and the best interest of the child of the marriage.

Speak with a Local Joliet Divorce Attorney about Contested Divorce

A contested divorce case can be a long, involved and emotionally draining experience. A local Joliet divorce lawyer can help you understand the necessary steps, gather the evidence you need and navigate the divorce court system. Please call 815.729.9220 for a free consultation or for more info. We serve Will County, Grundy County, Cook County, DuPage County, Kankakee County, Joliet, Lockport, Shorewood, Morris, New Lenox, Plainfield, Crest Hill, Aurora, and Chicago.