Divorce is never an easy process. Often clients are not sure what to expect and are emotionally charged. Knowing the process and what your rights are will help you through the divorce. Divorces generally fall into two categories, contested and uncontested. Custody also falls into joint or sole custdy in a contested or uncontested divorce.

Uncontested Divorce

You and your current spouse agree in your divorce and simply need to file the paperwork and split the assets and debt. If children are involved joint custody is typical and you will work on creating a parenting agreement with your spouse. Child support can be determined between the parties. If agreed to, child support can be reserved which means that neither party is paying support. This can happen if both parties agree that they can live on their own and jointly support the children. 

This type of divorce typically takes about 60 days to complete. This is the least expensive option of all divorces.

Please contact us with your questions about divorce. Unlike many other attorneys Rick will sit down and set realistic expectatins with you regarding your divorce. You should be weary of attorneys that assure you of flawless success.

Contested Divorce

You and your current spouse are unable to agree and in some cases speak civilly. These types of divorces are not only costly but can be very stressful. It is important to have good legal representation in this sort of divorce. Many attorneys will make your contested divorce sound like a simple process. The process is complex and may take years to complete. 

The very first step in any contested divorce is a petition for temporary relief. This petition can be made by either or both parties. It is generally made for the purpose of temporary custdoy and financial obligations during the pendency of the divorce. If you are the primary breadwinner, you can expect to begin paying temprary maintenance. If you are the primary caretaker you can expect to win temporary custody. There are execeptions to both of these and you should contact your attorney as soon as you begin your divorce. 


If a joint parenting agreement can not be made generally a GAL (Guardian ad litem) becomes involved. The GAL is an attorney designed by the court to determine the best interest of the child. This process generally takes three to six months. During this time the GAL will interview many different people including the children. After the GAL has completed their investigation they will prepare a report to the court. 

It is critical that your attorney work with you to prepare you for the GAL interview. Your attorney should also keep in constant contact with the GAL regarding your case. 

The GAL will recommend a custodal parent. If you are not the recommended parent then you can request a custody evaluation be done. This process involves further interviews and psycolgical testing. 

If no agreement can be made then a custody trial will be held. The judge will then determine the best interest of the children. 

If you are not the custodial parent. You can expect to pay child support. Under Illinois law child support is based on a percentage of the non-custodial parents net income. 

Assets and Debts

There are many factors that go into deciding assets and debt distribution. If the parties can not agree on distribution of assets and debt then a financial divorce trial will be held. The judge will then determine the distribution of the assets and debt. Maintenance (Alimony) is also decided during this portion of the contested divorce.

Maintenance can be permanent or rehabilitative. The factors of maintenance are based on the earning ability of the parties. The length of the marriage is also a factor in maintenance.