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What Should I Do if I Was Just Served With Divorce Papers in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

Elmhurst petition for divorce attorneySometimes, when a couple decides to get a divorce, both spouses are on the same page. In other situations, a spouse may be caught totally off guard when he or she is served with divorce papers. Regardless of what led up to this moment, once you have been served with a divorce petition, you need to take several important actions. You may understandably be very upset about what has happened, and you may be tempted to ignore the petition or even throw it away. However, doing so will only worsen your situation.

Read the Petition Entirely

The first step you should take after receiving a petition for the dissolution of marriage is to actually read the document. This may seem obvious, but many people jump to conclusions without reading the entire petition. The document will explain that your spouse is requesting a divorce. It will likely include statements and requests about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, spousal maintenance, property division, and other divorce-related issues. Once you understand what your spouse is asking for, you can respond appropriately.

Retain an Experienced Attorney

An attorney is not required to get divorced in Illinois. However, your attorney can help you interpret the petition and understand what your spouse is requesting. Your attorney can also provide legal support throughout the duration of your divorce case. Hiring an attorney does not mean that you intend to take your case to trial or make the situation any more contentious than it already is. It simply means that you now have a legal advocate on your side who can explain your legal rights and options and help you take the steps needed to resolve your divorce.

Respond to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

You are required to formally “respond” to the notice within a certain amount of time – usually 30 days. Failure to do so can result in the court entering a “default judgment” against you. This means that your spouse will automatically be given what he or she is asking for, and you will be required to follow these orders during the divorce process. In your response, you can propose your own child custody, property division, and/or spousal maintenance arrangements, or you can agree to some or all of the terms proposed by your spouse.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer

Getting divorced can be complicated – emotionally, financially, legally, and otherwise. A DuPage County divorce attorney from The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. can help. Our team understands the obstacles that are often involved in an Illinois divorce, and we know how to help our clients overcome these obstacles. Call us at 630-462-9500 for a personalized consultation.



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