Helping Clients Navigate The Divorce Process

When facing the complex and emotionally charged issue of divorce, it is important to have a lawyer on your side who cares as much as you do about the outcome of your case. Buffalo Grove Law Offices has helped numerous clients navigate the divorce process in an affordable and timely manner.

Hoffman Estates Contested And Uncontested Divorce Lawyer

Our firm represents clients in both contested and uncontested divorce cases. A contested divorce involves the traditional divorce scenario where spouses are unable or unwilling to reach an agreement regarding any divorce-related issues. An uncontested divorce is possible where both spouses are able to agree on all issues associated with the end of their marriage. In uncontested divorce matters, our firm will prepare, review and file your legal documents for a flat fee.

“I like to help people with their problems. I enjoy being able to take their cases to court, if need be, and to get the result they are entitled to. I enjoy working with attorneys, clients and others to work out practical, negotiated, mediated solutions. Most importantly, I like to help people feel good about themselves and their situations.” – Angela E. Peters

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is one in which the parties agree to the terms of the divorce without court involvement. It does not necessarily mean that the parties are in full agreement. But, the extent of the issues that are not included will be the deciding factor if this is truly an uncontested situation. Perhaps a meeting of the parties, with or without their attorneys, will resolve the issues. Often, one party will hire an attorney to file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, and the other party has no intention of being represented by an attorney. The first party tells the attorney that it is an uncontested case because that first party thinks that the second party will simply agree to everything. The first party is seeking a flat price for the divorce on the representation that the case is uncontested. It is very difficult for the attorney in this situation to assess the case until everything is on the table.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is one in which the parties do not agree on how to resolve various issues. A case can be settled in all respects except for one, for example-the value of the house (marital residence). This case would be considered a contested case, as the valuation of the house can affect the other matters which appear to be settled. It is also considered a contested case as the case may need to go to trial in order to resolve the issue of the value of the house.

Petitioner And Respondent

The Petitioner is the person who files the case, and the Respondent is the person who does not file the case. If the person who does not file the case decides to file a Counter-Petition, then the person who does not file the original case is named the Counter-Petitioner in that new filing. Each party pays a particular fee to the Clerk of Court, depending on the county in which the case is filed. It really does not matter who files the case because the fact that a party has filed the case does not give that party any advantage as to how the Judge is going to decide various issues. By law, the Judge is not supposed to consider any conduct of a party when dividing property.


This is based on the County in which the case is to be filed. The proceedings shall be had in the county where the plaintiff or defendant resides. Also, for example, if both parties live in Cook County, and one party files the case in DuPage County, the other party can object to have the case transferred to Cook County. Interestingly, if a party files the case in a Cook County suburban district, and the other party (or their attorney) wants the case to be downtown Chicago, all they need to do is to file a request for Change of Venue within thirty days of the original filing. It will be granted by the suburban court.

Guardian Is Now Allowed To File On Behalf Of A Disabled Spouse

Filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to initiate a divorce action has always been done by either of two parties: the husband or the wife. The courts have not allowed a guardian to file on behalf of a disabled party to the divorce action. The Illinois Supreme Court has now reviewed the decision in Karbin v. Karbin, 2012 IL 112815, overturned preexisting case law, and held that the guardian does in fact have standing to institute a dissolution of marriage proceeding on behalf of a disabled party provided that the guardian can show by clear and convincing evidence that bringing such a petition would be in the party’s best interest.

A Judgment For Dissolution Of Marriage Is Not Valid If The Non-Filing Spouse Was Not Properly Served or Notified By Publication

Even if the Defendant (Respondent) had actual knowledge that there were proceedings taking place in court, if that person was not served with summons or by publication and mailing, any orders or Judgment are void. The Respondent can waive process and voluntarily file his or her appearance (so that service of summons is not necessary). A party who is attacking an order or Judgment due to defective service of summons is not restricted by time limitations. The affidavit of the person who served the summons is evidence which may be overcome by the contradictory affidavit or personal testimony of the Respondent.

Serving Someone By Leaving The Papers With Another Person At The House

‘Substituted service of a summons’ is the process used when someone is not personally served, but someone in the household was served. When personal jurisdiction is based upon substituted service of a summons, the return or affidavit of service must affirmatively state 1) that a copy of the summons was left at the usual place of abode of the defendant with some person of the family of the age of 13 years or upwards, 2) that such family member was informed of the contents of the summons, and 3) that the officer or other authorized person making service sent a copy of the summons in a sealed envelope with postage prepaid, addressed to the defendant at his usual place of abode. The failure of the process server to recite any of these particulars required by statute makes the proof of service defective. The affidavit of the person who served the papers may be overcome by a contradictory affidavit or personal testimony.

The Right Solution For You

Our principal attorney, Angela E. Peters, has more than 25 years of experience vigorously protecting our clients’ rights while providing straightforward advice in a supportive environment. We understand how to be aggressive when circumstances demand it, but we also know that divorce issues are often best settled through reasoned negotiation. Our goal is to find advantageous solutions, while allowing the parties to save future time and money by anticipating the changing needs of the family.

Located in Arlington Heights, Illinois, we serve clients in Arlington Heights, Hoffman Estates, Palatine, Buffalo Grove and throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.

Contact us to speak with an experienced Arlington Heights divorce lawyer.

Aggressive Yet Compassionate Representation

We are dedicated to providing our clients with the highest quality legal representation focused on accessibility, efficiency, and finding creative and affordable solutions that meet the needs of all parties. We pride ourselves on serving as our clients’ roadmap throughout the entire divorce process. We work closely with clients to help them understand their rights, explore their options and set realistic expectations that help them identify and accomplish their goals.

Contact Buffalo Grove Law Offices

If you are ready to file for divorce, let us guide you through the process. Call Buffalo Grove Law Offices at (847) 772-8579 or contact us online to arrange an affordable initial consultation.



There are a legion of cases that describe why the Illinois courts will not give full faith and credit to a foreign divorce decree judgment for support. Those cases follow 735 ILCS 12-618 through 12-626 (The Uniform Foreign Money-Judgments Recognition Act), which states that, “foreign judgment” means any judgment of a foreign state [outside of…

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By Buffalo Grove Law Offices | July 21, 2021 | Comments Off on SPLITTING THE COST OF A PSYCHOLOGIST IN A CUSTODY FIGHT

The parties had one daughter. The divorce decree stated that the parties would share her joint legal custody. The child was to live with Mother. Father later filed a petition to modify custody. He wanted the child to live with him. The court appointed a psychologist to do a custody evaluation.  The evaluator submitted his…

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By Buffalo Grove Law Offices | July 22, 2021 | Comments Off on SLEEP IN THE BED YOU MADE

The trial court found Poland to be the minor child’s habitual residence. It ordered the child returned. The mother spent three years avoiding court appearances. She had three body attachments issued for her arrest. Then she spent time in jail for her failure to return the child to Poland. The mother then filed a motion…

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By Buffalo Grove Law Offices | July 22, 2021 | Comments Off on APPEAL IS DISMISSED BECAUSE DOCUMENT IS NOT NOTARIZED

The appellate court dismissed the husband’s appeal. He challenged the entry of a post-judgment order. The order removed his name as the custodian of the children’s bank accounts. The husband filed his appeal pro se. He was serving 60 months in a federal prison for committing Medicare fraud. He did this while he was employed…

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By Buffalo Grove Law Offices | August 6, 2021 | Comments Off on THINK ABOUT YOUR ARGUMENT BEFORE YOU MAKE IT

Dissolution judgment was final and enforceable at the time husband died.  Wife wanted to get her share of the pension through a QDRO. The trial court said that it had lost jurisdiction when husband died. The court said that it had no power to issue an order for a QDRO for wife.  A Qualified Domestic…

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By Buffalo Grove Law Offices | July 21, 2021 | Comments Off on CHILD SUPPORT INCOME SHARES MODEL IS HERE AS OF JULY  1, 2017

Some of the highlights of the new statute include: The basic support obligation is based on net income. The parties will be able to elect. Either a standardized tax amount or individualized deductions.  This is part of arriving at the net income. Business income is defined.  The court can reject items. Such as depreciation, excessive…

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