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Steps in getting a divorce

Some couples in Illinois may be wondering what the divorce process actually entails. The first thing that needs to happen in a divorce is filing. The other spouse then receives notice of the filing, known as a summons. People who have issues such as the other spouse blocking their access to children or financial support should not delay in pursuing solutions as this delay could look bad to a judge.

The spouse must respond to the summons. This is called a dissolution response. A person who does not yet have an attorney might want to contact one at this point to talk about what might happen next and what documents could be needed. Finding an attorney could involve asking friends or researching reviews.

Both spouses will need to disclose their financial situations. This includes debt, assets and income as well as business ownership and investments. The couple needs to negotiate an agreement for the division of property. This may happen with the help of an attorney, or the couple might choose to work with a mediator. If they are unable to reach an agreement, they will need to go to court where a judge will decide.

One advantage of reaching a consensus without going to court is that the couple may remain in control of the final outcome. This is less likely to happen with a judge where the couple may not have recourse if they are unhappy with the decision. However, there are some pitfalls. For example, a spouse who is particularly emotional about the separation might make the mistake of agreeing to unfavorable financial terms in order to get the divorce over with quickly. A person might want to discuss goals with an attorney to work out a strategy for the negotiations.

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