SPOUSE FILING/FILED FOR DIVORCE
SERVICE.  This is the legal term used to describe when an individual, who is
authorized by Illinois law, delivers the divorce documents to a spouse.  This can
be done by a police officer or a private individual. Also known as service of
process.
day deadline.  If you fail to act, you will be prevented from participating in the
divorce.  Once you have hired an attorney, the attorney will take the necessary
action within the thirty days to preserve your legal rights.
GATHER DOCUMENTATION.  You may be required to provide documentation of
income, tax returns, retirement accounts, bank accounts, investments, etc.  You
need to secure these documents as soon as you believe your spouse may be
filing for divorce for several reasons.  First, you may be given a very short period
of time to produce these documents once the divorce is filed.  Second, your
attorney will need this information to accurately assess the financial situation of
the marriage. If you are unable to give this information to the attorney, the
attorney will be required to file documents to obtain this information from your
spouse.  Or, if your spouse requested this information from  you, you be required
to obtain the information within twenty-eights days of the filing of the request(this
is not much time).

AVOID MISTAKES.  Prior to being served, you may be required to make
important decisions.  You are, no doubt, under a lot of stress and very emotional
as your marriage is ending.  You will probably make decisions that are less
rational and logical during this time.  If you have counsel of an attorney, the
likelihood of making the wrong decision prior to being served is great reduced.  
Some mistakes will be minor but other misjudgments could result in loss of
custody or the marital residence.  

GET YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW.  This saying has no greater meaning that just prior
to being served with divorce papers.  You need to get your finances to a position
to be able to hire an attorney, make rent/mortgage payments, pay bills, feed
children, etc.  You MUST accept the fact that your marriage is over and PREPARE
for the divorce.  See the recommended reading tabs for some literature that may
assist in your preparation.
Website of the Law Office of Angela Lund-Logan
This section is for anyone who believes his/her spouse will be filing for
divorce and those who have already received the divorce paperwork.
STEPS TO TAKE BEFORE BEING SERVED
STEPS TO TAKE AFTER BEING SERVED
do NOT recommend you handle your divorce yourself.  First of all, your
emotions will hinder your logic.  Second, you do not know the law and minor
decision can have major repercussions in the divorce.  Third, if your spouse
has an attorney, your spouse will most likely receive better results.  
IMMEDIATELY HIRE AN ATTORNEY.  You will only have 30 days to file the
responsive paperwork at the courthouse.  The clock begin ticking when you are
served with the paperwork.  Served means that you were handed a copy of the
divorce paperwork by a sheriff or individual authorized by the state of Illinois.  
Failure to file your paperwork within 30 days could result in you not be able to
participate in the divorce.

AVOID DISSIPATION.  This is the term used to describe use of marital property,
especially money, without permission of the Court.  Once you are served with
the divorce papers you CANNOT withdraw any money from your retirement
accounts, investments, etc.  The consequences for dissipation include, but are
not limited to, reimbursing the marital estate, paying your spouse's attorney's
fees, being held in contempt, and being sentence to jail.