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The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

What Happens if a Divorce Case Goes to Trial in Illinois? 

Posted on in Divorce

 wheaton divorce lawyerIf there could be a perfect divorce, it would be one in which both parties agree on how everything should be allocated and paid for. It would move quickly, be relatively inexpensive, and both spouses would go on to live their individual lives without hostility or resentment. 

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. When couples cannot agree on issues such as parenting time, asset division, spousal maintenance, and child support, the parties may end up in a divorce court trial and the court will make a decision about the contentious topics. 

How Do Divorce Trials Work? 

Divorce trials are presided over and decided by one judge - there is no jury. Although both sides may call witnesses, spouses are often the only individuals to provide testimony and evidence. Regardless of how complicated the divorce is, divorce litigation generally follows the same steps:

  • Discovery - During the discovery and deposition phase, attorneys for both sides collect facts and evidence to be used in court. This includes documents, such as prenuptial agreements and financial statements, as well as depositions, interviews, and subpoenas. The goal of discovery is to ensure both parties start the process with the same information so that, ideally, a settlement can be reached before the trial. 

  • Pretrial meeting - Both parties’ attorneys attend the pretrial meeting and present the judge with the findings from discovery. They will also present their client’s position and desired outcome. Based on what he or she sees at the pretrial meeting, a judge may look at the evidence and try to convince spouses to agree on a settlement to avoid the trial. 

  • The trial - During the trial itself, each attorney will give opening statements, offer testimony and evidence, cross-examine any witnesses, and make arguments to the judge. In these ways, a divorce trial is similar to any other courtroom trial. 

  • The judgment - Once both parties have presented their arguments and evidence, the judge will make a decision. Depending on the complexity of the divorce and the level of disagreement between spouses, it may take days, months, or years to finalize the divorce.

Speak with a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

When a divorce process goes to litigation, the process can be messy and complicated. An experienced Wheaton, IL divorce attorney may be able to help you avoid mistakes and unnecessary risks so your divorce can move as quickly and efficiently as possible. To see how an attorney at The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. can help you, contact our office to schedule a confidential consultation. Call us today at 630-462-9500

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+IV&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3900000&SeqEnd=5400000

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