A prove-up hearing is used in divorce cases to request approval from the state of the property settlement agreement and any custodial arrangements. A “prove-up” is another word for a final hearing regarding a divorce proceeding. It is usually no more than thirty minutes and conducted in front of a judge in open court. The proceedings are considered uncontested if the parties have reach a settlement concerning all their marital assets/property/etc.

Prove-up hearings can be very different depending on the state or county which is why it is extremely helpful to have a local attorney represent you regardless of how contested the divorce is. Having a divorce attorney who is familiar with the local rules can save you a lot of headache and time and ensure your case is handled correctly. This could be crucial in the future if an issue arises.

Cook County Prove Up Hearings



Brief Testimony from the Parties in the Divorce


During the prove-up, the client will stand immediately next to their attorney and facing the judge. This helps diffuse any potential negative communication with the opposing party. In contested divorce cases, things can get pretty heated.

Attorneys questioning their client typically like to use leading to make the testimony simple and straightforward. Sometimes clients only state their name and the word “yes”.

EXAMPLE OF TESTIMONY at a Prove-Up Hearing:

  • Name: (state & spell for the record)
  • You are the Petitioner in this action?
  • Your Address:
  • You have lived in this state for at least 90 days preceding the filing of this case?
  • You were married to X on X date?
  • You were married in Chicago, Illinois and the marriage was registered therein?
  • No children were born to or adopted during this marriage? (if children were born during your marriage, there are many more questions to ask)
  • The wife is not pregnant?
  • Questions regarding spousal support/alimony/maintenance depending on if one spouse is paying another. If neither party is paying the other, the Judge will be interested to hear how the parties will be supporting themselves.
  • That irreconcilable differences have arisen between the parties causing an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Both of you have attempted reconciliation and all attempts at reconciliation have failed. Future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and would not be in the best interest of the family.
  • You have been living separate and apart and not as husband and wife since X date?
  • Showing you what I will mark Exhibit “A”, do you recognize this document, is this your Marital Settlement Agreement?
  • Have you and your spouse in this agreement attempted to settle between you questions of property rights, maintenance and all other issues?
  • Do you recognize the signatures on the last page of your marital settlement agreement?
  • Are those yours and your spouse’s signatures?
  • I going to turn your attention to important agreements within this document:
  • Marital debts — how have you divided them?
  • Real Property — how have you divided it?
  • Bank Accounts — how have you divided them?
  • Retirement Plans — how have you divided them?
  • Personal property in house — how have you divided them?
  • Vehicles: — how have you divided them?
  • Did you freely and voluntarily enter into these agreements?
  • Nobody forced you into entering into the agreements?
  • You are not under the influence of anything that impairs your ability to understand what is taking place today?
  • Did you make a full and fair disclosure of all of your assets and Liabilities in negotiating this agreement?

After the judge asks the above questions, the other spouse will be called to testify. The Judge may have a few follow up questions at the end, and then you will be officially divorced.

If you are contemplating divorce or were just served divorce papers, it is important to make smart decisions and seek advice from experienced divorce attorneys. Contact our office today to schedule a confidential consultation to get answers to your divorce questions including what happens at a divorce prove-up hearing

THIS ARTICLE WAS PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED AT: https://illinoislawforyou.com/illinois-divorce-process/divorce-prove-up-hearing

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