Everyone wants a speedy divorce. Believe it or not, divorce lawyers want your case to move along smoothly as well. No one enjoys the delay and it is particularly stressful for the attorney in your case when things are delayed and the client is not happy. Is there anything you can do to speed up a Chicago divorce?
A Divorce Attorney’s Tips to Speed Up Your Divorce
Fighting Prolongs the Divorce Process
I will never forget the client who wanted me to argue that the George Forman grill was given to her as a present and it should be awarded to her in the divorce, and not to him. I had to pause for a minute and remind my client how much an hour she was paying me. Sometimes it is not really the possession, but the thought of the other party getting it. Some would rather give it away than let their spouse receive it. You need to let go of those thoughts and feelings if you want to end the case quickly.
In almost every family law case, there is room for compromise. If you are not willing to compromise and you just have to have the George Forman grill, your case will not end quickly. Let these negative thoughts go and compromise with the other party. If both people will compromise, the divorce can be resolved fairly quickly.
Have a Four-way Conference to Resolve Differences
Sometimes a meeting with the other side and their attorney can move things along quicker and speed up your divorce. Typically, if you need or want something, letters or emails need to be exchanged, and then those have to be discussed with you. If the parties can sit in the same room and get results without fighting, then a four-way conference can be beneficial.
Before you attend the conference, make a list of what you want to discuss and what you want out of it. Making a list keeps you on point and lets you see what you have achieved. Start out with the easy things first. You want to get a couple of easy things resolved before you start on the harder issues. Being able to check things off your list enables you to feel that you are making progress. Starting with a hard issue and then not resolving it makes you feel defeated too quickly.
Remember that the purpose of attending the four-way conference is to finalize the litigation and reach an agreement, so check your feelings at the door and come into the meeting with a positive attitude. You may not like the other party now, but remember, your goal is to finalize the case, so it is imperative that you are willing to compromise. Do not get stuck in the details. Even if you do not resolve everything, resolving some issues has moved your case along. The judge will help decide any remaining issues you have.
Be Timely Getting Your Attorney What is Requested of You
Some clients provide their tax returns and bank statements the minute I ask for them. Other people have to be asked 5 times and wait until the deadline date. Your attorney is not handing over what you give them blindly. They have to review it so that they know what is being sent out. In some instances, calculations need to be made with the documents you have produced. If you wait until the last minute to produce documents that have been requested from you, you delay your case.
Obey Your Court Order
Many people think court orders are suggestions. They are not. Judges require you to obey court orders and it does not matter if you like it or not. I do not like everything the judge makes me do either, but obey I must! If you are given an order, you can file motions to undo it, but until the judge changes her mind, you are stuck with obeying the order.
Failure to abide by the order leads to contempt. The fastest way to derail your case from moving toward completion is to disobey the court’s order. The other side files a petition to hold you in contempt and a hearing must be heard. If you are found in contempt, then we need to get you out of contempt by meeting the purge that the court set. This process is slow and you have not gained any positive points with the court when you do not obey.
Avoid Fights for Custody
I get a lot of calls from people who do not want the other parent to have parenting time, or want them to have very little time. I hear all kinds of reasons, but adopting this position will definitely place you in a litigated battle that could take years. I am not saying that you do not have a reason or that your reason is not legitimate, but you cannot adopt this position and expect your case to be over quickly.
In Illinois, you cannot restrict a parent’s right to spend time with their child unless there is a “serious endangerment.” That is a high burden for you. That does not mean that if the other parent has a different parenting style then you that there is a serious endangerment. Feeding your child pizza for dinner every night (or event for breakfast) does not rise to serious endangerment. The court is not equipped to handle these types of parenting choices.
The court handles big issues, like who is the child going to live with. The court does not get into how the child is dressed or what the child eats. Everyone understands that these aren’t necessarily small issues and some can feel very serious to you, but unless you can prove (we are in a court of law) that there is a serious endangerment, you aren’t likely to succeed. Think about that and how long that fight will delay your case.
Working with a Skilled Chicago Divorce Attorney Can Make the Difference!
A domestic relations attorney bills you for their time. They are not like personal injury lawyers that take a percentage of the amount you win. Anything you can do to make the process go faster, will likely decrease your attorney bill, and move your cases to completion more quickly. Pay attention to what your attorney needs and provide that as quickly as possible. The more you can agree to, or compromise your position, the faster your case will be completed.