When it comes to divorce, you can always count on some sort of conflict. If your divorce has been contested (meaning you and your spouse disagree over important issues, such as custody of your children or how to split property), you can also count on the divorce process taking longer and costing more than it would if the divorce was amicable.

However, there are some legal processes that must take place during a contested divorce in order to ensure the process runs smoothly, fairly, and legally. These legal processes can include the following, among others.

How Long Will It Take?

In a contested divorce, the spouses must go through mediation or arbitration before they can proceed with a trial. This process will take time because you and your spouse need to agree on a parenting plan, child support, and custody arrangements. Assuming you have children involved, this process will also require that both parents meet with their attorneys, as well as spend time meeting with a mediator or arbitrator.

Depending on how difficult the situation is, this could be done over one or two meetings. But if it takes too long for you and your spouse to come to an agreement, then it might be necessary to have an additional hearing date.

After the judge approves these agreements, which usually happens at a court hearing, the judge will sign off on them. The next step would be to file these agreements with the family law court and have them become part of your final judgment of dissolution of marriage.

Family Law Court

In order for a divorce case to be contested, there must be children involved. The court assumes that they will need time with both parents and will spend a significant amount of time with one parent. The parents must come up with a plan that allows them to share child custody without any interference from the courts. If the parents cannot come up with an agreement on their own, then a judge will have to create one.

One thing you should know is that if you’re going through a contested divorce where children are involved, it is important to hire an experienced family law attorney who can help you make sure your rights as a parent are protected during this process. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and ensure your lawyer understands what type of arrangement you would like when it comes to sharing time with your children.

Child Custody

Assuming that your children are involved, you will need to decide how parenting time will be determined. There are two common methods for determining custody and parenting time: joint legal and joint physical custody. Joint legal custody means that both parents share decision-making rights about major issues such as health care, education, and religion.

Joint physical custody means that the child spends significant periods of time with both parents, but not necessarily equally. The court will determine a visitation schedule for holidays, weekends, summers and other special occasions. You can also negotiate with your spouse about which school the child attends if this is an issue (e.g., religious schools).

Property Division

In a contested divorce, you and your spouse share custody, and you will have to decide how to divide the marital home. You might also need to divide property and debts, including pensions, retirement accounts, and personal property such as cars or household items. Even if you can agree on the division of these assets, it is a good idea for each of you to get your own attorney when dividing up the property because it can be complicated depending on what kind of assets are involved.

In some cases, spouses may need to use legal documents called deeds that show which one of them owns a specific piece of property. The court may also order one spouse to buy out the other’s interest in certain kinds of property at fair market value if they don’t want to share ownership.

The judge will review all agreements before deciding whether they are fair. If there is any disagreement about an agreement, it must be approved by the court before going into effect.

Child Support

In Illinois, child support is determined by a number of factors that include the income of the paying parent, the needs and welfare of the children involved, and the ability of both parents to contribute. To learn more about what you can expect regarding child support in your particular situation, consult an experienced lawyer.

When it comes to child support, there are many different considerations that will affect how much money is paid each month. For example, some factors include the payer’s income, the recipient’s needs, and how much time the children spend with each parent. If you’re considering filing for divorce in Illinois but want to know what you can expect when it comes to child support payments, there is a high requirement to talk with a qualified attorney who specializes in contested divorces first and review all of the important details.

The legal team , Johnson Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg LLC, has experience working on cases like yours and can help guide you through this process.

Spousal Support

When it comes to spousal support, there are two types of support. Alimony( short-term support) is given for a set period of time and is not modifiable. If the marriage lasted 10 years or more, you can request permanent periodic alimony. A spouse seeking alimony may be awarded temporary maintenance pending trial on the issue of divorce and/or until an agreed separation date.

Spouses who have been out of work or whose earning capacity has been diminished due to the care of a disabled spouse may also receive temporary maintenance pending trial on the issue of divorce. Maintenance orders generally last until one party dies, remarries, or achieves self-sufficiency by obtaining gainful employment. Generally, spousal support terminates when a former spouse has remarried or reaches retirement age and commences receiving a retirement income.

Spouse support can also be terminated at any time with written notice from either party giving at least six months’ notice before termination takes effect. However, this only applies if the requesting spouse did not live with the other during their separation.

Expert Witnesses and Mediation

As with any contested divorce case, there are many legal considerations that will have to be addressed. It’s not uncommon for couples with children to have disagreements over custody arrangements, visitation rights, school districts, college tuition or expenses, and other financial aspects of their relationship with their children. In contested divorce cases involving minor children, it’s usually wise for each party’s attorney to work with a neutral mediator who has experience in family law matters such as this one.

The cost of hiring a mediator can vary depending on the location, but typically ranges from $150 to $350 per hour. A court-appointed arbitrator is also an option and, oftentimes, less expensive than hiring your own mediator. However, if you want the process of mediation done quickly, then you may need to hire your own professional.

An expert witness may also be necessary in some cases to provide testimony about matters such as income. These types of professionals will come at a higher price point, so make sure you know what your budget is before setting out on this journey. Keep these details in mind during any negotiations with your spouse or partner because most contested divorces involve intricate details which can all add up fast.

Final Thoughts

The process of a contested divorce can be long and stressful. It is important that you are prepared for the process, especially if you have children or own property together. It is imperative to consider consulting with a lawyer before going through the contested divorce process.

However, Johnson Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg LLC is ready to help at every step of your journey. We understand how difficult this situation is and want to make sure that we can help you navigate all aspects as quickly as possible. With over 30 years of combined experience, our lawyers are here to represent your best interests so that the process becomes more manageable and less stressful for everyone involved.

Visit our website for access to our services or contact us so we can begin working to ensure that your needs are met and that you’re satisfied with the outcome of your case.

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