In an ideal world all divorces would be uncontested. However, in most divorces reaching an agreement is not possible and the case must be litigated. Litigation means that a legal case is resolved in a courtroom (for example, through hearings or a trial).
At Fahnert LLC all our attorneys have devoted their careers exclusively to family law. We litigate all aspects of a divorce case on a daily basis. We have experience litigating division of property, business valuations, maintenance, child-support, child-custody (now called “allocation of parental responsibilities”), child visitation (now called “parenting time”), and other aspects necessary to properly dissolve a marriage.
To better represent our clients we believe that it is important to be comfortable with the courthouse culture and have had experience litigating in front of the trial judge. Thus, we focus our practice exclusively at the Domestic Relations Division of the Daley Center in Cook County, Chicago.
We believe that even when litigation is unavoidable and necessary to resolve the case, a special effort must be made to proceed as amicably as possible. Thus, you will find that in our writing and presentation to the court we present only the facts that are necessary to make our point and refrain from mentioning irrelevant issues that might create unnecessary acrimony.
Throughout your divorce proceeding we will discuss and analyze with you the progress of your case and the pros and cons of taking a particular approach in your case. We consider our clients input to be essential in the successful resolution of their cases and encourage clients to engage as much as possible in the decision-making of their case.
The process of litigating a case from filing the Petition to the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, usually proceeds as follows:
- A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed,
- The parties exchange financial information (per Cook County Rule 13.3),
- The parties attend mandatory mediation if they have not reached a full agreement on all the issues relating to the children’s upbringing, such as allocation of parental responsibilities (previously called “child-custody”) and parenting time (previously called “visitation”),
- The parties lawyers conduct financial discovery and child related discovery, if necessary,
- The parties attend a pretrial conference (where they discuss the issues of the case with the judge and receive recommendations from the judge as to possible settlement solutions),
- The parties argue their positions in a trial.
At any point in the proceeding the spouses and their attorneys may choose to attempt to reach a settlement and end the litigation.