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Naperville, IL 60564

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So, How Does Divorce Settlement Work?


Divorce settlement is an elusive process for many. After all, you don’t see divorce settlements being negotiated on television or in movies. So, how does the process actually work?

Settlements are worked out over the course of many months between your attorney and your spouse’s attorney. Both attorneys will spend this time advocating your position on certain issues to the other attorneys and working closer to a compromise until you either do or don’t reach an agreement.

If you can’t reach an agreement, the case will go to trial. If you can, the case will settle, one attorney will draft the judgment and marital settlement agreement, and you will get divorced.

A Step-by-Step Overview of the Settlement Process

Divorce settlement means working out all of the issues of your case – maintenance, child support, property division, debt division, and others – before the case goes to trial. Most divorces are settled and requires the careful negotiation of both attorneys in a case to reach an agreement.

The process follows no clean step-by-step process but ebbs and flows according to your case. Here’s just one example of general steps you can expect in your own settlement:

  1. Your attorney will meet with you and ask your stance on all issues in your case. This offers a starting position from which they can approach your spouse’s attorney.
  2. Your attorney and your spouse’s attorney will agree on some issues, especially those that are calculated using a formula under Illinois law (i.e. maintenance and child support).
  3. Your attorney will submit a “settlement proposal” to your spouse’s attorney presenting your offer on all remaining issues. Typically, these negotiations will go back and forth for some time as you change your position to accommodate some of your spouse’s demands and compromise to avoid trial.

In some cases where issues remain undecided as the trial date approaches, your attorney may have a pre-trial with the judge. In this pre-trial, the judge will hear both sides of the issue from your attorney and your spouse’s attorney and then tell both attorneys how he or she will rule.

This should eliminate the need for a trial because you and your spouse will know the outcome of an issue if you leave it undecided. This will also help guide negotiations because you know the extreme position a judge will take and should be able to find a middle ground as a result.

Lawrence R. Surinak Will Advocate on Your Behalf in all Settlement Negotiations

At Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd., we’re interested in settling your case to avoid the costly expenses of litigation and to give you more control over the divorce process. We rely on over 35 years of experience to skillfully negotiate and win you a favorable settlement.

If you’ve been considering divorce, take advantage of your free 30-minute consultation by contacting us at 630-470-9990 or fill in our simple online form. We look forward to speaking with you and discussing the unique details of your case!

Concentrated on Family Law

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

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About Attorney Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

We continue to work with clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Lisle, Oswego, Downers Grove, and the surrounding areas to provide one-on-one support and attention that will help you through this difficult time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to offering our expertise and support to you throughout your case and after.