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Preparing for Your Divorce Hearing

Posted in Divorce on Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

The vast majority of divorces in Illinois settle out of court, but some cases are more complicated than others. If your divorce involves high assets, complicated assets, or a child custody dispute, it’s more likely to be settled in court. If your case is headed to court, knowing what to expect and how best to prepare will help ease your stress and build your confidence. An experienced Joliet divorce attorney will help ensure that you are well prepared for your divorce hearing.

Going before the Court

Whether you have only one issue that needs to be determined by the court or a range of issues, it’s important to recognize that the court has considerable discretion in the matter. The issues generally brought before the court include:

  • Child custody arrangements (the court always bases these decisions on what it considers to be in the best interests of the children)
  • The division of marital property (Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that the assets you acquired together as a married couple will be divided in a manner that is equitable rather than equal)
  • Financial decisions regarding child support and spousal support

Familiarize Yourself with All Your Financial Documents

Other than child custody arrangements, your financials are the most important component of your divorce. As such, you want to both understand your financial situation and to be able to discuss it when you head to court. Nobody understands the details of your family’s assets and budget better than you do, and having a clear mental picture of this information will serve you well in court. You’ll very likely be cross-examined regarding your financial situation, and by carefully reviewing this information ahead of time, you should be well prepared. 

Review Your Discovery Documents

Every divorce is unique to its own set of circumstances, but your case is certain to have responses to discovery requests and your own discovery documents – whatever they might be. Review these documents before going to court. While none of it is new to you, taking the time to review everything will keep it fresh in your mind and will allow you to converse more naturally on the topics when you are required to do so. There’s no need to memorize anything – in fact, you are ill-advised to try to do so – but reviewing your supporting documents is paramount. 

Write a Relief Narrative

You are going to court to ask for financial relief, relief in the form of child custody arrangements, or both, and you want to make your case as succinctly and convincingly as possible. Write yourself a mental narrative that outlines the basic tenets of your case and that renders your story meaningful. 

If Your Divorce Case Is heading to Court, You Need an Experienced Joliet Divorce Attorney on Your Side

If your divorce case is going to court, it’s no time for a DIY project, and you should have the right legal representation. The experienced divorce lawyers at Sabuco, Beck, Hansen & Massino, P.C. in Joliet, Illinois, are committed to aggressively advocating for your case’s best possible resolution. Please contact us for more information today.

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