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What You Need To Know About Starting A Case

If you do not have experience with Illinois family laws or the court system, it is natural to feel overwhelmed when your family concern requires legal action. However, you do not need to face your problem alone. Attorney Paul Chiligiris has decades of experience with a variety of family legal issues, and he is ready to help you.

Learn more about parentage and divorce cases when you read the information below. Then, call 217-615-4053 to reach Paul G. Chiligiris, Attorney at Law, in Decatur and discuss your situation with a skilled lawyer who cares.

Taking The First Step

A parentage or divorce case is started by filing a petition (a paper that describes the issues and seeks relief) with the Circuit Clerk of the County in which you reside. You must pay a filing fee to the clerk.

Grounds For Divorce And Relief

A divorce petition states the grounds for divorce and the relief sought. Grounds for divorce include:

  • Irreconcilable differences (no-fault)
  • Mental cruelty
  • Physical cruelty
  • Adultery
  • Drug and/or alcohol addiction

Many people wish to get divorced on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. However, you must be separated for a period of two years, or six months (if both parties agree), to get a divorce on those grounds.

The relief sought in a divorce case generally includes dividing property, dividing debts, establishing child custody, visitation terms, child support, maintenance (alimony), and determining who pays attorney’s fees among other things.

Establishing Parentage

A parentage case is started by filing a Petition to Establish Parentage. It asks that a person be named the father or mother of a child. It also asks that the issues of child custody, support and visitation be resolved if paternity is established.

Responding To Summons

After a case is filed, it is then served upon the other party. The party who is served with a summons will have 30 days in which to reply in a divorce case. In a parentage case, that party generally must appear in court on a specific date and admit or deny that he or she is the parent of the child in question. Genetic tests can be ordered upon a denial. The party who requests the tests may be ordered to pay for them.

After a finding is entered for paternity or a person answers in a divorce case, the case is then docketed for the other issues in the case.

Do You Have Questions? Get Answers Today.

Don’t let uncertainty prevent you from taking action. Speak with a knowledgeable lawyer about your family law concerns and begin working toward a solution.

You can reach attorney Paul Chiligiris online or call him at 217-615-4053.