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Illinois Divorce Do’s & Don’ts

Joliet Divorce Law Attorney

What You Need to Know to Successfully Manage Your Divorce

If you are considering divorce (or your spouse has already filed), there are proactive things you can do to protect your immediate interests and position yourself for a favorable outcome. There are likewise many missteps and pitfalls that can put you at a disadvantage.

We are experienced divorce and custody lawyers in and around Shorewood, Illinois, with over 30 years of experience in family law. We represent women and men in Will County and surrounding communities of Grundy and Kendall counties. We can help you take the right steps and avoid many mistakes as you may undertake in this major process. We always offer a free initial consult.

How to Get Started: The Do’s and Don’ts of Divorce and Child Custody

1. Interview knowledgeable and experienced lawyers who concentrate in divorce. You have too much at stake to trust your financial future and your children’s best interests to someone who doesn’t understand the law or the issues.

2. Ask lots of questions. Who actually handles your case after you hire the firm? Is the attorney accessible to answer your questions? Will he or she go to trial? How will you be billed?

3. Don’t sign any papers prepared by your spouse’s attorney until you have them reviewed by your own legal counsel.

4. Don’t move out of the marital residence if you and the kids are safe.*

  • The spouse has an obligation to support you.
  • Two can live cheaper than one.
  • It may be harder to get possession of the home in divorce.
  • Divorce is hard enough on kids. They need stability.

* Domestic abuse is a different story; leave immediately if your spouse has been violent or made threats, and seek an order of protection if you fear what the spouse will do next.

5. Gather important papers to bring to your attorney: deeds, bank statements, bills, pay stubs, retirement account statements and other records.

6. Don’t wait. Soon after a divorce petition is filed, a hearing is set for temporary orders. You must be prepared for this very important proceeding. Temporary orders may establish:

  • Custody and visitation while your divorce is pending
  • Temporary child support and spousal maintenance
  • Who stays in the house
  • Who pays which bills
  • Health insurance and life insurance coverage
  • An injunction against draining accounts or transferring property

Once these orders are in writing, there are sanctions for violating them. Temporary orders also have a bearing on the final divorce decree.

7. Don’t badmouth the other parent in front of your children, witnesses or the judge. It hurts your kids, creates co-parenting disputes and may backfire on you in determination of custody and visitation.

Divorce in Shorewood, Joliet, Plainfield and Nearby Illinois Communities

We practice in all three counties, and have a great reputation in the legal community. We are strong and committed advocates for our clients but we are also very honest, fair and practical.

Our philosophy is to give you the information and the tools to resolve your divorce without unnecessary litigation. We will fight for you, but in our experience an agreement built on your goals and input is always better than a solution imposed by a judge. Let’s sit down to discuss your goals in a free, confidential consultation. Call 312-313-3022 or reach out to us online today. We can also arrange evening and weekend appointments if needed.