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Responding to a Divorce Petition

Posted on in Divorce

divorce petitionMarried couples often know their relationship is ending before any formal steps are taken to obtain a divorce. Some may suspect their spouse is about to file for divorce, while others may be taken off guard when served with divorce papers. No matter the path taken, anyone who is served with a petition for divorce has important legal rights that need protection, as well as a responsibility to participate in the divorce process.

First Things First

It is highly advisable that anyone who is served with a petition for divorce contact an experienced family law attorney to represent them. Not only can a divorce case quickly become complicated and confusing for those not familiar with the process and the laws regarding divorce in Illinois, but hiring a capable attorney ensures a party’s rights will be protected and they will have the benefit of professional representation throughout their case.

One of the first things that must be done after a party is served with a divorce petition is to file a legal responsive pleading, known as an answer. It is important for the responding party to meet relevant time deadlines for filing this pleading in order to preserve his or her rights. A divorce attorney who has entered his or her appearance in the case would be responsible for drafting this document accordingly, after an appropriate discussion with his or her client, as well as filing it with the court. In addition to the answer, the responding party will also have the opportunity to file any counter petitions at this time.

Other Considerations

Along with the initial task of responding to a petition for divorce, a party who was served with a divorce petition must also begin to consider many other factors that will be relevant to the divorce case. It would be helpful to enlist in the help of a divorce attorney to discuss these matters so that the party knows what to expect and has clear positions on different issues that commonly come up in divorce proceedings. Topics that are usually addressed within the context of a divorce case include:

  • Child custody and visitation matters, as well as the issue of child support;
  • Separation of property and other marital assets;
  • Any use or possession of the marital home;
  • Spousal support and alimony payments;
  • Specific matters regarding grounds for divorce, or lack thereof, depending on what the divorce petition alleges;
  • Whether the divorce will be sought as fault or no-fault, depending on what the petition alleges; and
  • Any waiver of the length of separation in a no-fault divorce case to shorten the separation period required for divorce.
A knowledgeable divorce attorney will not only discuss these and other topics with clients in the context of representation, but will also help his or her clients to understand how the court may rule on each of these matters based on relevant law, as well as the facts of the client’s particular case.

Divorce Attorney

If you or someone you know is considering divorce, the DuPage County family law attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC are here to help you. Contact us today for a consultation in our Wheaton, Warrenville, or Chicago office.
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