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Illinois Divorce Lawyer

Divorce Litigation Attorney in Lake County, IL Guiding You Through the Divorce Process in Bannockburn, Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, and Throughout Northeastern Illinois

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As common as divorce is, going through the dissolution of your marriage can feel isolating. On top of the complicated emotions you’re likely going through regarding the end of your marriage, you have the stress of facing divorce litigation and a potential trial to contend with. To guide and support you through this process, you need a Illinois divorce attorney who is as compassionate toward the pain you’re going through as they are tough in fighting for your interests.

At the Katz, Goldstein & Warren Law Firm, our team is equipped to undertake the litigation process and fight for an outcome that benefits you. If the time has come to end your marriage, getting skilled legal representation needs to be your top priority. Otherwise, what you lose in the divorce could affect your finances, your rights to see your children, and more—not only now but for years to come.

Get started with a confidential consultation with an experienced divorce litigation attorney in Lake County, IL. Contact us today to learn more.

Experienced Trial Attorneys Prepared to Commence Litigation for You

When litigation is your best option, you need to make sure the Illinois divorce attorney you choose has what it takes to fight for you, no matter how contentious the proceedings get. At the Katz, Goldstein & Warren Law Firm, our divorce litigation attorneys are seasoned trial lawyers with a strong reputation for successfully obtaining judgments in our clients’ favor.

Divorce is the most litigated area of family law. Even if you’re hoping for an amicable resolution, there’s wisdom in preparing for the possibility of facing the litigation process. In situations in which you know there’s little hope for amicable resolution, it may be best to prepare for the eventuality of divorce litigation and a potential trial.

The Katz, Goldstein & Warren Law Firm is certainly not opposed to amicable resolutions. We often assist clients in mediation, negotiated settlements, and collaborative divorce practice when appropriate. However, we’re well aware that, in some cases, nothing short of litigation will fulfill our responsibility to fight for our clients’ best interests. To protect our clients’ rights and seek a favorable outcome for them, we vigorously prepare cases for litigation. We draw upon our extensive experience as skilled trial lawyers in developing strategies and crafting compelling arguments in our clients’ favor.

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Issues in Divorce Litigation

Sophisticated issues can arise during marriage or divorce, often pertaining to the couple’s financial resources and child custody rights. Among the issues that may be addressed through divorce litigation are:

  • Division of property, including business assets and retirement plans
  • Maintenance and spousal support payments, also known as alimony
  • Child custody and visitation rights
  • Child support payments

Through the litigation process, your Illinois divorce attorney will seek to secure outcomes in all disputes that are as favorable to you as possible. We accomplish this aim through meticulous case preparation, strong legal strategies, and aggressive advocacy.

The Divorce Litigation Process in Illinois

When two divorcing spouses can’t resolve disputes over the division of their property, child custody, and child or spousal support, they can turn the matter over to the courts and have a judge decide for them. The name for this formal legal process is litigation.

Divorce litigation in Illinois is handled in family court. Both spouses and their attorneys appear before a judge to present their case. Upon hearing all arguments and facts, the judge issues a judgment. The judge’s decision on how to resolve the issues is binding and concludes the case.

Typically, litigation commences after any efforts to settle disputes out of court fail. This is due to the extra complexity, costs, and time associated with the litigation process. Litigation is the most structured and time-consuming method of resolving disputes in a divorce.

Divorce litigation generally follows the following process.

Petition for Dissolution

The divorce process begins when one spouse files a Petition for Dissolution of a Marriage/Civil Union. Two versions of this form exist, one that applies to marriages with children and one that applies when there are no children involved.

The other spouse must generally be served notice of this petition unless they file a form known as Entry of Appearance to notify the court that they do not need to be formally served paperwork and a court summons. The spouse who did not file the petition generally has 30 days to respond to the petition.

At this point, the divorce process is underway. It’s still possible, and often preferable, to resolve disputes involved in divorce cases outside of the court system through mediation or collaborative law. However, if efforts to do so break down, your attorney is ready to move the litigation process forward.


Discovery refers to the stage in which information is brought to light about a legal matter. In divorce law, discovery often refers to the acquisition of financial assets, although other relevant facts and information may also be shared.

Discovery may be a pre-trial phase of litigation, but don’t underestimate its importance. The facts produced during discovery shape your legal strategy and, at least in part, the outcome of your divorce proceedings, including:

  • Who gets what property and assets
  • Whether one party is required to pay maintenance or alimony to their spouse and, if so, how much
  • Who is required to pay child support, and how much

During the course of the discovery stage of the divorce process, your attorney will analyze financial documents and other information, including:

  • Bank statements
  • Credit card bills
  • Documentation of family expenses
  • Tax returns
  • Securities statements and accounts
  • Mortgage documents
  • Business records
  • Documentation of transactions involving substantial assets

At the Katz, Goldstein & Warren Law Firm, our thorough approach to discovery and financial analysis lays the groundwork for success in the courtroom. Our skills in the valuation of businesses, tracing of assets over a long period of time, and analysis of other complex financial matters has proved invaluable in litigating on behalf of our clients.

Settlement Negotiations

Before a trial begins, you will have a chance to attempt to negotiate the settlement of matters such as how to divide property, who is awarded rights to child custody and visitation, and whether and how much a party will pay in alimony and child support. A settlement may be negotiated at any time before the trial.

Settlements offer numerous benefits over taking your divorce case to trial. It is quicker and often more cost-effective to settle the case than to go through with a trial. While a trial places all the power in a judge’s hands, in a settlement, both spouses still retain more control over the outcome of the case, even though some degree of compromise may be necessary.

Despite the benefits of reaching a settlement through negotiations, settling isn’t the right choice for every case. If no settlement can be reached, your divorce case will proceed to trial.


In Illinois, divorce trials are held in family court, and a judge, rather than a jury, determines the outcome of a case. Before the trial is held, pre-trial conferences offer the opportunity for the judge to get familiar with the facts of the case and for the judge and attorneys to work out the logistics of scheduling, bringing in witnesses to testify, and submitting evidence to support each spouse’s case.

Even now, as the trial is looming, settlements can still be reached.

During a trial, each spouse’s attorney will represent them and their interests and present their case. Your divorce litigation attorney in Lake County, IL, will be by your side through it all, from the opening statements through the presentation of all evidence, examination, and cross-examination of witnesses, and finally through the closing statements intended to persuade the judge to issue judgments that benefit you.

Alternatives to Divorce Litigation

The process of litigating a contested divorce is time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally difficult for the spouses and other family members. When possible, pursuing alternative approaches to resolving disputes in a divorce may benefit all parties. The experienced divorce litigation attorneys at the Katz, Goldstein & Warren Law Firm assist clients with a variety of approaches to resolving divorce disputes.

Negotiated Settlements

At any point before a trial, it’s possible for the two spouses and their attorneys to reach a settlement through negotiation. The same facts obtained through the discovery process in anticipation of a trial can be used to build a strong case around which negotiations are based.


The most widely known form of alternative dispute resolution is mediation. In mediation, the spouses work with a mediator, a trained and certified neutral party, to attempt to reach agreements in a less formal setting. Unlike a judge, a mediator does not have official authority to issue a judgment and instead facilitates discussions with the aim of working toward a resolution. Mediation results are not final, like the judgment issued at a trial is. It can be valuable for spouses to have their own legal counsel assisting them in mediation and protecting their legal rights since the mediator is a neutral party. At the Katz, Goldstein & Warren Law Firm, our attorneys represent clients in divorce mediation as well as litigation.

Collaborative Law

Collaborative law is a more cooperative approach to resolving divorce disputes focused on problem-solving. In a collaborative divorce, both parties and their respective attorneys work together through a cooperative meeting to identify and analyze solutions to disputes. All parties are required to communicate respectfully and otherwise adhere to a written agreement that establishes the rules and procedures of the collaborative process.

When to Resort to Litigation

While methods of alternative dispute resolution may adequately resolve certain matrimonial and domestic issues, they don’t work for every situation. In some circumstances, the reality is that strong divorce litigation may be what best serves your interests.

How the Katz, Goldstein & Warren Law Firm Can Help

Whether you’re unsure which path your divorce will take or you’re eager to have an experienced Illinois divorce attorney begin building a strong case for a contested divorce, we’re here to serve you. Our team is equipped to move your divorce forward through any approach, from mediation and collaborative law to litigation and trial.

We begin each case with an initial consultation that allows a divorce litigation attorney in Lake County, IL, to get familiar with the unique facts of your situation. During this consultation, we can answer your questions, inform you of what to expect from the legal process, and begin exploring avenues for resolving disputes.

Each divorce is unique, which is why we tailor our approach to your individual situation.

Why Choose the Katz, Goldstein & Warren Law Firm?

The Katz, Goldstein & Warren Law Firm is known for our experience, results, and steadfast commitment to our clients’ best interests.


Our firm has practiced family law in Northeastern Illinois for more than 25 years, acquiring a breadth of trial experience.


Thanks to the combination of our careful case preparation and our ability to draw on our extensive resources, including our network of professional experts, we routinely obtain effective, high-quality results through divorce litigation.

Commitment to Our Clients

We’re known as tough litigators, because we know that in many ways, our clients’ futures depend on the outcome of their case. We always seek resolutions that benefit our clients and fight for their interests both inside and outside the courtroom.

Contact an Illinois Divorce Attorney Today at the Katz, Goldstein & Warren Law Firm for a Confidential Consultation

Going through a divorce is difficult, but having an experienced attorney on your side can make the entire process easier. For help from a divorce litigation attorney, contact the Katz, Goldstein & Warren Law Firm online or call us today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce Litigation in Illinois