Divorce Lawyer Palatine

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Divorce Lawyer Palatine

When conservative stalwart Ronald Reagan ran for California governor in 1968, he promised to put welfare bums to work and clean up the mess at Berkeley. He then almost immediately signed one of the most sweeping divorce reform laws the world has ever seen. Illinois quickly adopted its own no-fault law. Lawmakers substantially reworked this provision in 2016, ending, among other things, the two-year waiting period.

The laws have changed, but marriage dissolution procedure in Cook County remains much the same. The experienced Palatine divorce lawyers at the Andrea Heckman Law know all the procedural rules, even the unwritten ones. Your marriage dissolution is no time for on-the-job training. Because of our experience, we often favorably resolve divorces without going to court. Our procedural knowledge saves our clients time and money.

Initial Pleadings

In 2016, Illinois became a pure no-fault state. Irreconcilable differences is the only recognized ground for divorce in the Prairie State. If the parties lived apart for at least six months, which is often the case, the court presumes their differences are irreconcilable. In other cases, the testimony of one spouse usually suffices.

Additionally, at least one spouse must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days prior to the filing of the petition.

Next, the pleadings must be served on the respondent. Personal service via the constable or a process server is best. Substitute service, perhaps even including service via social media, is available in some cases. If the respondent does not reply, the court may enter a default judgment.

Temporary Hearing

At this hearing, which usually occurs about two weeks after the divorce is filed, the judge makes important decisions about parenting time and spousal support. Property division matters are usually deferred until discovery is complete.

Do not let the “temporary” label mislead you. Unless a challenging spouse presents substantial and compelling new evidence, these orders are difficult to undo. They often form the blueprint of the final divorce orders.

So, unless your Palatine divorce lawyer is fully prepared, you may be playing from behind for the remainder of the proceeding.


In most family law cases, unlike other civil cases, discovery usually involves both party and non-party activity. 

The party activity usually includes depositions, document requests, and other actions geared toward property division matters. And, in contested cases, most Cook County judges order social services investigations.

Discovery is a court-supervised information exchange. If disputes arise, the judge steps in and resolves them.


Only a handful of divorce cases go to trial. Most of them settle out of court, often during mediation.

During mediation, a neutral third party, who is usually an unaffiliated Palatine divorce lawyer, works to facilitate a settlement between the two sides. Assuming both parties negotiate in good faith and with open minds, mediation is usually successful.

Negotiating in good faith means that each party is willing to make sacrifices in order to reach an agreement.

Count on a Dedicated Lawyer

Every divorce is different, but they all have some procedural similarities. For a free consultation with an experienced divorce attorney in Palatine, contact the Andrea Heckman Law Convenient payment plans are available.

Contact our office to arrange for a free initial consultation and review of your case.


Andrea Heckman

Managing Attorney

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Please contact our law office in Rolling Meadows for legal assistance with divorce, child custody, or visitation issues. We serve clients in the Chicago metropolitan area who need the help of an experienced and dedicated family law attorney.

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