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Roadmap to Divorce

Roadmap to Divorce

The thought of going through a divorce can feel overwhelming. You might not know what to do or where to start. The family law team at Sabuco Beck, P.C.  has been through it all when it comes to divorce, child custody, visitation, and allocation of parental responsibilities.  Contact us online, and we will show you the roadmap to divorce. You will see that it’s not as difficult as it sounds when you leave it with us.

While every case is different, most divorces follow a similar path. Here are some of the steps that most divorces go through:

  • Deciding to divorce: Pre-divorce planning
  • Hiring an attorney
  • Attempting negotiation
  • Beginning the pleadings
  • Financial disclosures
  • Custody issues and parental allocation matters
  • Trial preparation – Discovery, trial, settlement
  • Conducting a trial
  • Obtaining judgment
  • Post-judgment relief, if necessary

Pre-Divorce Planning

Only you can decide if it is time for this critical step in your life. There is a good chance you will have made this decision before you seek legal advice on the matter. Or you may want to hear what a divorce attorney has to say. Connect with us online if you are ready for divorce. We can help you see the most likely outcomes for your situation and help you prepare emotionally for the process.

Beginning the Pleadings

Once you have an attorney, the paperwork parade begins. Your attorney will file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Everything you need for that is included in the filing. You won’t give the courts everything at once.

Financial Disclosures

It is necessary to take stock of a divorcing couple’s financial situation in order to determine issues related to the division of assets, child support, and spousal support. Doing so requires financial disclosures from both parties regarding their marital and separate assets.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services offers a child support estimator to give you an idea of the formula used to determine this. Note that this is just an estimate, and what the Department or court determines at the end of the process may be far different.

Custody Issues and Parental Allocation Matters

Child custody will not be settled in a permanent way until the entire divorce matter is settled, but custody is something you will need to be thinking of early in the process. You also need to think of being reasonable and agree to as much as possible in advance. It makes the process much easier and is looked on favorably by the courts. 

Your attorney will help you in planning this. The courts like to see you being reasonable and don’t like the status quo changed too much for children. Whoever drives the child to school, for example, or has the bus route for the child, is most likely to be the one that keeps doing that.

Trial Prep

The next stage is the trial preparation stage. In this phase will be discovery, where both parties are required to disclose their evidence. Here you discover what the other side has to bring to the table.

At every stage now, the attorneys will work on a settlement between the parties. If that can’t happen, trial preparation begins. Here you will attend pre-trial conferences to get a judge’s opinion on your case. The judge may make settlement recommendations and will be a last attempt to resolve all matters before trial. A trial is always a last resort.


The post-decree period is the time frame from when your settlement or trial is complete and the time when all matters are officially resolved. So you may make the changes the court asked now, such as closing or dividing bank accounts, selling joint assets, or tying up every loose end of the marriage. If you have children, the post-decree period lasts until the child is 18 or graduated from high school.

The Illinois divorce process is emotionally exhausting. But the steps involved to bring it to the post-decree stage are the same no matter what your situation is. Contact the family law team at Sabuco Beck, P.C., and we will help you prepare your divorce case.

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