How Do I Go About Getting a Divorce & Other Questions

If getting a divorce is something you are seriously considering you may find yourself with many questions that need answers. There are a lot of emotions that surface when deciding to get a divorce. Some people elect to handle the divorce themselves and others need more information to help them decide which way to go. As a Chicago divorce lawyer, I field a lot of these types of questions each and every day.

The following are some of the most common questions I answer about getting a divorce:

Top 13 Questions About Getting a Divorce

1. Does it Matter Who Files First in a Divorce?

2. What Procedures are Involved in Getting a Divorce?

Once the appearance has been filed by the other side, we move to the next step in your case. If you have children, that means having the parties attend mediation and a parenting class. Both are required by the court, so it is important to get these requirements over with early in your case. If there are no children, we’ll start with sending out the financial discovery, We will need to ascertain exactly how much money each of you makes so that we can divide up your property, and calculate child support and maintenance.

3. How Much Does It Cost to Get Divorced?

Since lawyers in the Domestic Relations field bill by the hour, the divorce costs itself will vary greatly. Are you going to fight over who gets the lawnmower? The china? The pets?

You may elect not to fight over the personal property like the lawnmower and the china, but when it comes to your pets, it is a different story. Pets are like kids for some couples and oftentimes no money is too great to fight for their possession — including beloved pets. But you have to understand that when you fight it will cost money. Uncontested divorces are reasonably priced, but protracted litigation can be very costly.

Asking your lawyer how much it is going to cost is hard to predict. We don’t know what you will be fighting about. The more you can work out ahead of time with your spouse, the more reasonably priced your divorce will be. On the flip side, the more you argue about, the more it will cost you.

4. How Long Will It Take Me to Get a Divorce?

5. Who Has To Go To Court?

Sometimes the judge will change part of the agreement. If a change is made, it still requires both sides to agree to the change. That change will need to be initialed by both parties and if one of them isn’t there, we have to come back on another day. If it is important to get it done quickly, both sides should appear in court. If you cannot get your spouse to the courthouse, it isn’t absolutely necessary, but it does ensure that it will be completed that day.

6. What If My Spouse Won’t Sign the Divorce Paperwork?

7. Can I Have a Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce is a divorce done by agreement. Attempts are made to settle the case amicably, and if professionals are needed to help settle it, they are brought into the negotiations. A group of people might be present to resolve the case. There will be at least two attorneys, sometimes a real estate broker who would be involved in selling your house, sometimes a therapist, etc. Professionals are brought in as necessary to resolve each aspect of your case without going to court.

8. We Have Money In a Joint Account and I’m Afraid that He Will Take it All out and I Won’t Have Any Money. What Can I Do?

9. Can I Prevent a Divorce From Happening?

10. My Husband Had an Affair. Does that Mean I Will Then Get the Majority of Our Property?

11. I’m Afraid I Won’t Have Enough Money t0 Live On After the Divorce. Can You Help?

12. I Have a Business; Do I Have to Sell It When I Get Divorced?

An expert is likely needed to evaluate the goodwill of a business and its assets. Once a value is determined, you would have to pay out a value to your spouse to keep the asset. Much like you would if you wanted to keep your house. You’d determine the equity value and pay your spouse out so you could keep that asset.

13. I Cannot Afford to Lose My Children. What Can I Do to Make Sure I Get Custody of the Kids?

As a general rule, you should keep communication lines open with your children and your spouse. Keeping the children from him can be detrimental to your case, so in most cases, you want to allow them to continue seeing each other. You’d want to encourage phone calls and Facetime. You need to think of what your children need and meet those needs. Make sure you don’t use the children as pawns in this divorce. If you ensure that you can facilitate a relationship between your children and your spouse, that demonstrates you are looking out for your children’s best interests. You will want to discuss this personally with your attorney.

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