PROTECTING A CASE FROM DISMISSAL

Protecting your Case as a Respondent Domestic relations cases are civil in nature. In every civil case filed in Illinois, there are at least two parties: the Petitioner and the Respondent. In a domestic relations case, the Petitioner is the party who initially files for divorce. In order to file for divorce in Illinois, the Petitioner must file a pleading called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This pleading alleges the grounds upon which the parties may be divorced and then requests the court to grant the parties a divorce. Pursuant to Section 2-1009 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, a Petitioner may, at any time before trial or hearing in the case begins, voluntarily dismiss their Petition for Dissolution of Marriage without prejudice. This means that, after filing for divorce, the Petitioner has the right to dismiss the divorce case entirely as long as trial has not already begun. This can present a problem if the party who did not initially file for divorce still wants to proceed with the case. So, how do Respondents protect themselves from having their case Gina’s Blog Entry January 1, 2014 Protecting your Case as a Respondent Domestic relations cases are civil in nature. In every civil case filed in Illinois, there are at least two parties: the Petitioner and the Respondent. In a domestic relations case, the Petitioner is the party who initially files for divorce. In order to file for divorce in Illinois, the Petitioner must file a pleading called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This pleading alleges the grounds upon which the parties may be divorced and then requests the court to grant the parties a divorce. Pursuant to Section 2-1009 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, a Petitioner may, at any time before trial or hearing in the case begins, voluntarily dismiss their Petition for Dissolution of Marriage without prejudice. This means that, after filing for divorce, the Petitioner has the right to dismiss the divorce case entirely as long as trial has not already begun. This can present a problem if the party who did not initially file for divorce still wants to proceed with the case. So, how do Respondents protect themselves from having their case dismissed by Petitioners? The answer is simple: the Respondent should file a Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. A Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is essentially the same as a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage – it is a pleading that requests the court to grant the parties a divorce. However, the Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed by the Respondent, not the Petitioner. There are a few reasons a Respondent will file a Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The first is if the Respondent’s wishes to seek a divorce on different grounds than the Petitioner or wishes to make allegations that are different from the Petitioner’s allegations. The second is to preserve the parties’ divorce case in the event the Petitioner voluntarily dismisses his or her own Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Although Section 2-1009 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure provides that a Petitioner may dismiss their case, it also states that a dismissal under Section 2-1009 does not dismiss a pending counterclaim. This means that, if the Respondent files a Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the parties’ case may move forward on the Counter-Petition even if the Petitioner voluntarily dismisses his or her own Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Therefore, in order to preserve the parties’ divorce case, it is wise for a Respondent to file a Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. by Petitioners? The answer is simple: the Respondent should file a Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. A Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is essentially the same as a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage – it is a pleading that requests the court to grant the parties a divorce. However, the Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed by the Respondent, not the Petitioner. There are a few reasons a Respondent will file a Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The first is if the Respondent’s wishes to seek a divorce on different grounds than the Petitioner or wishes to make allegations that are different from the Petitioner’s allegations. The second is to preserve the parties’ divorce case in the event the Petitioner voluntarily dismisses his or her own Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Although Section 2-1009 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure provides that a Petitioner may dismiss their case, it also states that a dismissal under Section 2-1009 does not dismiss a pending counterclaim. This means that, if the Respondent files a Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the parties’ case may move forward on the Counter-Petition even if the Petitioner voluntarily dismisses his or her own Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Therefore, in order to preserve the parties’ divorce case, it is wise for a Respondent to file a Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

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