What to do When you are Served with Divorce Papers in Illinois
A divorce process begins with one spouse filing a petition with the court. In Illinois, you are required to complete a number of documents, such as the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Summons, and a few others, that are served to the defendant. In some cases, an Injunction order or an Application for Temporary Matters are also served. These documents can either be served by a spouse in person to their partner, or through a process server, who is generally the county Sheriff.
If you have been served with divorce papers, it is essential you know how to proceed and respond to your spouse’s actions in order to avoid any mistakes that can affect your case down the line.
What You Should Do After Receiving Divorce Papers
After receiving divorce papers, you must file for Appearance at the local courthouse. You can do so by visiting the clerk’s office of your county, where your spouse has filed for the Petition of Dissolution of Marriage. You will have to pay a certain fee for Appearance, showing that you acknowledge the papers and will participate in the divorce proceedings.
You must also file the paperwork for Response to respond the divorce petition your spouse has filed against you. This document comprises of your responses to the allegations your spouse has included in the petition, along with the relief you are seeking under Illinois laws. One of the most important things you need to keep in mind is the deadline for filing an Appearance and Response. In Illinois, the deadline for these actions is 30 days. If you fail to do so, the court may order a default judgment – this means that your spouse would be automatically granted the relief they have requested in the petition.
Important Things to Keep in Mind
- Take the deadline seriously and make sure you take appropriate actions well before it so that you do not face any problems in the later stages of your divorce.
- After you receive the papers, suppress your negative emotions, like anger and frustration, and avoid contacting your spouse for venting out on them.
- You should make a decision about your legal representation, whether you are going to hire an attorney or go for a do-it-yourself divorce, within the first week. This will give you enough time to prepare and submit the required paperwork at the clerk’s office.
- An important issue to consider is your finances. Ask your attorney to provide guidance for revising your financial records and assets. You may have to close joint accounts, and transfer your finances to a personal account, as well as cancel any credit cards that are in your name and your spouse has access to.
- If you have children, make sure you do not include them in the discord with your spouse. Resist exhibiting any behaviors that can impact the allocation of parental responsibilities, as well as parenting time in the parenting plan.
If you have been served with divorce papers, you need to take calculated, swift actions to properly respond to them. It is best that you retain the legal services of an experienced divorce attorney in the early stages of your case, as it can substantially increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome. Contact the Law Office of Fedor Kozlov, P.C. today at (847) 241-1299 to schedule a free initial consultation.