Common Questions And Answers
The attorneys at Reich, Jumbeck, Stole & Reeb, understand that you may have questions about your family law case. Our team created this FAQ based on questions we have received over our long careers. Of course, this page cannot answer everything, and we recommend contacting our firm at 815-770-2669 to talk to a knowledgeable lawyer.
How much will my family law case cost and how long will it take?
The cost and length of a family law disagreement can depend on the circumstances of a case. If divorcing spouses cannot agree on the terms of their divorce, a courtroom case can take between 12-18 months to complete. In legal matters that involve agreements, such as a prenuptial agreement, the process can have a quick resolution if all parties agree to the terms.
We can discuss your case in your first meeting at our law firm and give you an estimate of the expected costs and length of the process.
Why do I need a family law attorney?
While people can represent themselves in family law court, any mistakes can cause damage to their case. Even in cases where both parties can agree on terms, such as in an uncontested divorce , working with an attorney can be to your benefit. Legal representation can finalize documents and give you a straightforward explanation of your rights.
What is the first step in filing for divorce?
To begin the divorce process in Illinois, one party must file a petition for dissolution of marriage. A divorcing spouse must file this document at the Illinois county courthouse where either you or your spouse lives. This spouse must then send a copy of the petition and a summons to other spouse that tells them the date of the hearing.
If you have received a summons and divorce petition, you must respond with an appearance within 30 days. An appearance is a document that lets the courts know you will take part in the case and not give up your rights in the divorce.
How is a legal separation different from a divorce?
Legal separations and divorce filings are similar but different filings. A legal separation does not end a marriage but rather states that the spouses will live apart and not share finances. A legal separation does not prevent a person from filing for divorce at a later time.
The separating couple can outline the division of their property, custody of their children and other shared legal matters in a separation agreement. While legal separations generally do not have hearings, the court must approve the final agreement.
Can I get custody of my children if I file a restraining order?
If you experience abuse from the parent of your children, an order of protection can help. These orders can separate a person from their abuser and grant temporary custody to one parent. A judge will decide any permanent changes to the allocation of parental responsibilities agreement in an order hearing.