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Chicago Divorce Lawyers

Chicago Divorce Lawyer

You know you want a divorce, but you don’t know where to start. Just thinking about legal forms, property division, and child custody is overwhelming. You aren’t alone. We can help.

Whether you are still considering divorce, are ready to file paperwork, or need help responding to your spouse’s divorce notice, Petrelli Previtera, LLC can help. A Chicago Divorce Lawyer can work with you to solve the complicated issues of child custody, child support, and spousal support. Contact us at 312-252-2085 to schedule your first consultation.

Chicago Divorce Attorneys at Petrelli Previtera, LLC

Whether you have an amicable divorce or one that requires litigation, our Chicago divorce attorneys can help you take the next step to a better future. Petrelli Previtera, LLC will be with you every step of the way, making sure the process is as easy and stress-free as possible while protecting your financial rights.

When you’re ready to discuss your legal options, we can help you get started. For an initial consultation with an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer, please call (312) 252-2085.

Amicable Divorce in Chicago

You and your spouse have agreed to end the marriage, but you each have different ideas on who will raise the children, where the children will live, what happens to the family home, and even who gets the car. Your divorce can be even more complex if you or your spouse has a high income or valuable assets. These disagreements can turn even a friendly divorce adversarial. Is there a way to protect your rights, your family, and your future without undue stress and confrontation?

Petrelli Previtera, LLC is a nationally recognized Chicago divorce firm with a reputation for helping spouses reach mutually beneficial divorce agreements. When possible we help couples amicably end their marriage and preserve a working relationship for the benefit of their children.

Contested Divorce

Not every divorce can be resolved through mediation or collaboration. If you are facing a more complex divorce, we urge you to speak to one of our lawyers about contested divorce. We’ll define your goals and consider any potential obstacles, including parental rights, custody, support and division of marital property, and the steps ahead. Our attorneys will provide you with advice to protect your future. We can help you uncover hidden assets, make sure that property is fairly distributed, and confirm that all income is disclosed and reflected in child support and spousal support agreements. We have the experience to take your case to court if litigation is needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Find the Best Divorce Lawyer for Me?

Choosing the right attorney can make a world of difference. Here are five tips to help you choose the best attorney for your divorce.

Ask for reviews, recommendations, and referrals from the people closest to you. Your friends and family members probably know a good divorce attorney in Cook County or any of the surrounding areas. Request for their input.

Check reputable sources. Don’t stop at the referrals. Check the Illinois State Bar Association’s website as well to see if a lawyer has any formal discipline on their record. In addition, scour through Google+ and Facebook. These sites don’t let attorneys remove bad reviews, so they can be a good place to look at what other clients have to say about an attorney.

Clear communication should be a no-brainer. A good lawyer will make it easy for you to understand what they’ll do to help with your case. They will provide you with clear information regarding their legal approach, fees, values, and more. In short, they’ll be as direct and concise as possible while still being sensitive to your situation.

Check-in with yourself. What do you envision for yourself? Are you looking for a collaborative approach to solving your dispute, or perhaps you anticipate a contested divorce? By understanding what you are looking for from the word go, you’ll find it easy to find an attorney who best fits your needs.

Find a lawyer with courtroom experience, just in case. Heading to court is expensive and stressful, but sometimes it is the best option for you. You need a divorce attorney who isn’t afraid to go to court and represent you.

Before I can file for divorce in Chicago, how long must I reside in Illinois?

The State of Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act requires at least one spouse be a resident of Illinois for 90 days before filing for divorce.

Before an Illinois divorce is granted, is there a waiting period?

One may seek a divorce based on irreconcilable differences if there are no grounds for divorce. This is also known as a “no-fault” divorce; although a mandatory separation period is required for a no-fault divorce. In order to file for a divorce based on irreconcilable differences, you and your spouse must have lived apart for two years. If both you and your spouse have agreed to the divorce, the waiting period is shortened to six months. You do not have to maintain separate residences during the waiting period. Having separate bedrooms in the same home may qualify as living separate and apart. There is no waiting period if there are grounds for the divorce as noted above.

What are the grounds for divorce in Illinois?

There are two types of divorce in Illinois: divorce where there is a specific reason (grounds) for divorce, and divorce where no specific reason is given. If there are no grounds for divorce, one may seek a divorce based on irreconcilable differences. This is also known as no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce requires a mandatory separation period.

There are 11 major grounds for divorce in Illinois:

  1. Impotence
  2. Bigamy
  3. Adultery
  4. Desertion for one year or longer
  5. Drug addiction
  6. Habitual drunkenness
  7. Mental cruelty
  8. Physical cruelty
  9. Drug addiction or drunkenness
  10. Infection with a sexually transmitted disease
  11. Conviction of a felony

To obtain a divorce based on irreconcilable differences, you and your spouse must live separate and apart for a certain period before the divorce can be finalized. If both spouses agree to the divorce, the waiting period is six months. However, if the divorce is contested, the waiting period is two years. There is no waiting period if there are grounds for the divorce.

Which forms do I need to file for a divorce in Chicago?

You will need to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This form is your formal request for a divorce and is available through your County Court website. You may need to fill out additional forms depending on the circumstances of your divorce.

Where can I file for divorce in the Chicago area?

When filing for divorce in Illinois, your petition for divorce must be filed in the county where you or your spouse lives. If you reside in Chicago, you may file your petition with the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court located in Room 802 of the Richard J. Daley Center at 50 West Washington in Chicago.

Residents outside the city may file at the nearest suburban courthouse.

District # 2: Skokie Courthouse, 5600 Old Orchard Road, Skokie, IL 60077
District # 3: Rolling Meadows Courthouse, 2121 Euclid Avenue, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
District # 4: Maywood Courthouse, 1500 Maybrook Drive, Maywood, IL 60153
District # 5: Bridgeview Courthouse, 10220 S. 76th Avenue, Bridgeview, IL 60455
District # 6: Markham Courthouse, 16501 S. Kedzie Parkway, Markham, IL 60428

How much does it cost to file for divorce in Cook County?

There are two main fees in a Chicago divorce: attorney fees and court fees. Your attorney fees will depend on the attorney you choose and the circumstances of your divorce. Court fees are set by the County.

Residents of Cook County can expect the following fees when filing for divorce:

$337 filing fee for opening a new divorce case
$206 fee to respond if your spouse has filed for divorce
$60 fee to have the Sherriff serve the divorce papers to your spouse
$60 request for petitions to modify, terminate or enforce judgments for child support or spousal support
$25 Parenting Education Class fee
$50 transcript fee
$60 fee to file a Motion, Cross-Motion or Order to Show Cause.

How can I serve divorce papers to my spouse in the Chicago Area?

If your spouse does not live in the county where you are filing, you will need to contact the sheriff in the county where your spouse is a resident and arrange to have the papers served.

What can I do if I am unable to serve the divorce papers to my spouse?

If the sheriff is unable to serve divorce papers to your spouse, you may Serve by Publication. Service by Publication allows you to serve notice of the divorce to your spouse by publishing a notification of divorce proceedings in a general-circulation newspaper. However, this form of service must be approved by the county court. The Circuit Court Clerk will be able to tell you which newspaper to contact for service by publication.

Schedule an Initial Consultation

Located in Chicago, Illinois,  Petrelli Previtera, LLC handles divorce and other family law matters for clients throughout the communities in and around Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, Lake County. Some towns that we most frequently serve include: Schaumburg, Forest Park, Glen Ellyn, Glencoe, Woodstock, Hinsdale, Wheaton, St. Charles, Geneva, Frankfort, Western Springs, Highwood and Tinley Park, IL.

Two Prudential Plaza
180 North Stetson, Suite 3500
Chicago, IL 60601

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(312) 252-2085

Our Chicago divorce attorneys can help you move forward efficiently and professionally. If you’re ready to discuss your legal options, we can help. Contact us at (312) 252-2085 to schedule your consultation. We look forward to seeing you.

While our experience and reputation for excellence may bring you in the door, it is our commitment and personal service that will keep you as a client and have you referring friends and family to us. Our service begins with your initial consultation and continues even after your case concludes. Our Chicago family law attorneys keep you well-informed throughout the legal process. We provide regular notification of any changes in the status of your case or any settlement offers we receive.

We take your case very seriously. Your Chicago Divorce Lawyer will thoroughly prepare for even the smallest battles. We believe that in order to achieve victory, we need to win all the little battles along the way.

We will take time to listen to your situation and concerns and explain the law and the legal process to you. Our team invites questions and will analyze your objectives and your situation in order to provide you with an honest assessment of your case.

Get Prestigious, High-Caliber Chicago Divorce Lawyers On Your Side

When you have decided to end your marriage, you want to have a compassionate and competent Divorce divorce attorney in your corner. You want not just an aggressive litigator but also a resilient negotiator.

At Petrelli Previtera, LLC, our lawyers have shown unmatched skill and success as both negotiators and litigators through the years—and we have awards to prove it. Our firm has consistently won top-notch recognition, including:

  • Super Lawyers Honoree since 2015
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40
  • Martindale-Hubbell’s Gold Client Champion Award
  • Inc. 5000 Mentionee
  • ThreeBest Rated’s List of 3 Best Divorce Lawyers
  • And many more!

When representing you, the team led by Thomas Petrelli, Jr will work diligently to build a robust case.

Ready To Get Answers? We’re The Chicago Divorce Attorneys call us at (312) 252-2085 Today!

Further Reading

Client Testimonials

Here's what our clients have to say about working with us. Please note, results may vary based on individual circumstances.

Melinda Previtera, Esq. came highly recommended to our family. Her knowledge base, professionalism, and compassion paved the way for a successful outcome. Melinda is efficient, detailed, and informative. She helps manage expectations, and postures her client for a fair and equitable result. We are happy to recommend Melinda!

Jennifer A.

My experience was very good. Everyone was professional and attentive to my needs, keeping me updated every step of the way. I couldn’t ask for a better result, highly recommended.

David R.

My marriage life has been a hell for me for the past four years until I decided to put an end to what has to be ended. Choosing a lawyer was another additional stressful part of the long process. I’m so glad that I’ve found the right one for me at Petrelli Previtera. Life isn’t always fair, but at least having her in my corner, felt even better. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough!

Caitlin B.