Contested Divorce Trial Lawyers Serving Chicago and Skokie Area
Experienced Divorce Attorneys Serving Those in Cook, Lake, and DuPage Counties
When good faith negotiations fail, our law firm has the skills to resolve your case at trial. Many divorces are contested—meaning contentious—from beginning to end. Others may begin as an uncontested divorce, but along the way, turn into a contested divorce for reasons not foreseeable at the time of filing. In some cases, a contested divorce can benefit from mediation, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or collaborative divorce efforts. A contested divorce is essentially one in which the spouses simply never reach a point of resolution and agree on how best to settle the issues related to their divorce. Many of these divorces end up in a courtroom with a judge making decisions for the couple. Those decisions can include the division of marital property and debts, parental responsibilities and child support, and spousal support (maintenance/alimony). When an Illinois divorce is contested, the spouses will go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized. These steps include the following:
- Preparing, filing, and serving the divorce petition, including stating the grounds for the divorce;
- Allowing the spouse the time to respond to the petition;
- Engaging in discovery, or the information gathering process;
- Engaging in pretrial and case management conferences;
- Oral and evidentiary hearings;
- If negotiations fail, preparation for trial; and
- The final and appealable trial.
At all stages listed above, your attorney should be ready and attempting to negotiate resolution of your matter to avoid trial, even in contested matters, but at the same time preparing for trial and able to try your matter if it reaches that point.
Illinois Contested Divorces Require Time and Patience
The above is fairly simplistic but really when a divorce is hotly contested there can be months and months of discovery, including depositions, interrogatories and subpoenas for information that may be withheld or hidden. Motions and hearings can also go back and forth for an extended period of time until it becomes clear there will be no resolution of the divorce issues between the couple without a final trial. At this point, a trial date will be set, and the judge will make those decisions after listening to arguments by both attorneys regarding each spouse’s position on the issues. In many cases, lay witnesses and expert witnesses will be called on behalf of one or both spouses, and the trial itself can go on for an extended length of time.
Experience Really Does Matter in Complex Divorce Issues
The difference between contested divorces that drag on for months or even years, and contested divorces in which mutually acceptable agreements are eventually reached is directly tied to the experience of the divorce attorneys. Resolving marital disputes requires a highly experienced divorce attorney who can engage in patient, skilled negotiation, but who is never hesitant to litigate aggressively when necessary. The divorce lawyers at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC possess the skill sets necessary to negotiate when warranted and litigate when it becomes clear litigation is in the best interests of the client.
Contested divorces can be extremely complex, and those with high-net-worth divorces may encounter even more complexities. Hidden assets may need to be identified (dissipation), account statements, brokerage statements and 401(k) information gathered, family issues addressed, and witness testimony gathered. Our lawyers have the knowledge of Illinois family law as well as the experience to do all these things and more. No one should enter a contested divorce unprepared; it is important to place your divorce in the hands of an experienced attorney such as the attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC sooner rather than later. The decisions that are being made today can potentially affect your financial security and parental rights for the rest of your life, and we understand that.
Get the Help You Need for Your Illinois Contested Divorce
We excel at handling cases involving high net worth, including the division of such assets as real estate, trusts, retirement benefits, and businesses. Attorney Maxine Weiss Kunz was a senior attorney at one of the top family law firms in Chicago before leaving to found Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC. She now offers that same large firm experience and savvy, coupled with small firm personal attention. Maxine Weiss Kunz is also a Super Lawyers Rising Star and has successfully negotiated cases against some of the largest firms in the Chicagoland area including Schiller DuCanto & Fleck, Berger Schatz and Davis Friedman. For personalized client attention during your contested divorce, contact Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC.