Q: What is mediation, and when is it appropriate?
A: When the parties involved are able to communicate
effectively, and trust each other to disclose all
relevant information, mediation is a non-confrontational
solution to resolving your marital difficulties. The Law
Offices of David S. Kerpel offers the option of using
skilled mediators when it is appropriate to the
Q: How can I control my costs?
A: You can control costs by assisting your attorney
and professionals associated with your proceedings.
Gather your pertinent information and documents. Make
your own copies. Set realistic goals. Be concise, and
focus on facts relevant to your case.
Q: When is a neutral business or real estate appraiser appropriate?
A: Similar to participating in mediation, a neutral business or real estate appraiser should only be chosen when the parties have been completely forthright in the exchange of information, and are willing to compromise in their pursuit of litigating their respective rights. Agreeing to use a mutual expert can save parties thousands of dollars, and months and months of extended litigation.
Q: How can I modify support or custody orders?
A: A support or custody order can only be modified by filing a petition usually in the court where the prior order establishing the custody or support order was entered. Especially important to remember is the fact that child support can only be modified from the time a petition is filed and noticed before the court. If you believe a payer's income has substantially increased since the last support order was entered, you should file the petition as soon as possible. If you choose to wait to file, you will not be able to obtain a retroactive increase from before the time you file the petition.
Q: What are the grounds for divorce?
A: Illinois has two types of grounds for divorce:
fault and no fault. The no fault grounds are called
irreconcilable difference. Essentially, this
means that the two parties just don't get along any
more, and one, or both of the parties want to dissolve
the marriage. There is a two year separation period when
filing under the irreconcilable differences grounds
(which can be reduced to 6 months by agreement), which
is why sometimes, parties will file for divorce under
one of the fault grounds. Fault grounds do not have a
waiting period. The only thing you have to prove is the
fault. Fault grounds can include:
- Extreme and repeated mental and emotional
- Physical cruelty
- Habitual drunkenness
- Excessive use of drugs
- Attempted poisoning
- Infection of a sexually transmitted disease
- Already Married
- Conviction of a Felony
Q: What is discovery and when do I need it?
A: Discovery is the process by which your attorney obtains relevant information concerning every facet of your case. Discovery is probably the most important aspect of your case. Whether the issues of your divorce or paternity deal with finances, custody, visitation, or even grounds of your divorce, discovery is the process by which you obtain all of the relevant facts to support your case. Discovery can take many forms including depositions, written requests for information (often called interrogatories), and subpoenas.
Q: What is dissipation?
A: Dissipation is strictly defined as property which
is improperly used for the sole benefit of one spouse,
for a purpose unrelated to the marriage, at a time when
the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown.
Some commons examples of dissipation include:
- Spending money on a boyfriend or girlfriend
- Gambling losses
- Reckless investing of funds
- Destruction of personal property
- Failing to maintain the mortgage on a home
Q: How long will my divorce take?
A: There is no easy answer to this question although
it is probably one of the most commonly asked. The duration of a
divorce will depend on many factors. The most common
questions to ask which will affect the duration of your
- Is custody an issue?
- Is there a business to value?
- Is there a lot of real estate to value?
- Is dissipation an issue?
- Is maintenance or child support an issue?
- Is one of the spouses self-employed?
- Will the parties cooperate with the discovery
- Are the attorneys intent on litigating, or are
they willing to enter into reasonable settlement
DISCLAIMER: This site
and any information contained herein are intended for
informational purposes only and should not be construed
as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice
on any legal matter.