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  • Writer's pictureAngela Larimer

3 Ways to Divorce Your Spouse in Illinois

Divorce can be carried out in several forms. To understand your options in Chicago and adopt the best strategy, call Angela Larimer at 773-370-0600.

Litigation, mediation, and collaborative divorce are three options that a person in Illinois has to divorce his or her spouse. Divorce lawyers help people choose the ideal option for them depending on the issues involved. Spouses wishing to learn more about these options can contact Chicago family law attorney Angela Larimer at 773-370-0600.


This is the most common way of divorcing a spouse in Illinois. Spouses who cannot agree on certain disputes have them resolved inside a courtroom through divorce litigation. The court system steps in for the areas where the parties involved cannot agree and enables them to reach a settlement.

Litigation involves:

  • Discovery

  • Motions

  • Pleadings for immediate issues

  • Pre-trial conferences for the judge’s recommendations

It can end with a trial. The majority of cases are settled based on the pre-trial conferences. In pre-trial conferences, the divorce lawyers of both parties present their cases in the chambers before a judge. Based upon the information given to the judge at pretrial, the judge then indicates how he or she would rule at trial.

For divorces that reach trial, both parties will need to call witnesses, present evidence, and make arguments. The judge will then make the final decision on how matters in the divorce will be resolved. A couple’s marriage is dissolved when the divorce judgment is issued at the end of the in-court trial.


The mediation process involves divorcing couples meeting with a neutral, trained professional who helps facilitate productive conversations and arrive at an agreement. Through several meetings, a mediator helps spouses identify the issues they agree on and those they do not agree on, understand each other’s perspectives, brainstorm options, and reach an agreement on their divorce issues amicably and cost-effectively. The mediation process is confidential. After a case is mediated, the couple will each hire attorneys to draft the documents and take them through the court process.

Collaborative Divorce

In collaborative divorces, each spouse has an attorney. The attorneys and the spouses work together at the same table with open communications and clear defined roles to come to a reasonable settlement without litigation. The couple agree to be transparent ith the financials and disclosures. The attorneys use collaborative negotiation to help the divorcing couple reach an agreement about parental responsibilities, spousal maintenance, and property issues.

If the parties cannot reach a complete agreement, the next step can be mediation or litigating specific, unresolvable issues.

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