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What to Expect During a Divorce Hearing in Illinois

In Illinois, the final stage of your divorce – if it is uncontested – is the prove-up hearing. While this hearing is very different from going to trial in a contested divorce, it, nevertheless, means that you will need to go to court (which is presently zoom court) in order to finalize your divorce. When it comes to your prove-up hearing, there is nothing to fear, but it can help to know what to expect. If you are facing a divorce, don’t delay consulting with an experienced Chicago divorce attorney.

Before You Get to the Prove-Up Hearing

To have a prove-up hearing in the State of Illinois, you and your divorcing spouse must have resolved all the divorce terms that apply to your situation. Toward this end, you can exhaust an array of negotiation options that are available to you, including mediation, but – ultimately – you’ll both need to sign off on each of the applicable terms as it is outlined in your Marital Settlement Agreement. At this point in the process, your divorce becomes an uncontested divorce, which means that neither of you is contesting any of the terms you’ve established and that, as such, you won’t require the court’s intervention. 

These divorce terms include all the following that apply:

  • Allocation Judgment of Parental Responsibilities is drafted and entered for parenting time and decision-making (previously known as your child custody arrangements)
  • Child support
  • The division of marital property
  • The allocation of individual property
  • Asset distribution, such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts, vehicles
  • Debt distribution, such as credit cards, loans
  • Maintenance/Spousal Support  

Once you and your divorcing spouse have found a middle ground on each of these terms, you’re ready to move forward toward finalizing your divorce. 

What Is a Prove-Up Hearing?

A prove-up hearing is simply another name for a final hearing – when you go in front of the court (presently via zoom with your attorney present) to request approval for the terms you and your divorcing spouse have negotiated and settled upon. Your prove-up hearing shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes, and it will be conducted in open court in front of the judge who is presiding over your case, which is presently being done via zoom court proceedings. Generally, both spouses and their respective attorneys attend the prove-up hearing, which is the last step in a complicated and often-arduous process. 

Preparing for Your Hearing

At your prove-up hearing, the judge will consider the proposed judgment for dissolution of marriage your legal counsel provides, will review the divorce petition and may question both of you regarding your agreed-upon terms. As such, you may be required to answer basic questions put to you by the attorneys or the judge (that your attorney will help you prepare for ahead of time). The bottom line is that you’ve already done the hard work, and as long as the court finds the terms you provide not unconscionable (which means they are not clearly lopsided or plainly unfair), it is nearly certain to sign off on them. 

It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced Chicago Divorce Attorney

The trusted Chicago divorce attorneys at WARD FAMILY LAW dedicate their practice to helping clients like you move through the divorce process as effectively and efficiently as possible – while protecting their financial and parental rights – and this includes the prove-up hearing. We’re on your side, so please don’t wait to contact us for more information about how we can help you today.

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