and proportionate division of marital assets, can the Petitioner proceed to order Continuance - Discovery without initially proving the grounds for divorce?
Family Law Attorney
A Response usually denies what is petitioned for. Are you worried that you can't get divorced? People can stil get divorced with a just and proportionate division of marital assets even though the response looks the way it does now. In Cook County, people can do discovery after tendering a copy of a 13.3 Financial Disclosure Statement.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
I'm not sure what you're asking as some of the legal terms you used seem mixed together. It is very common for a response to agree on some issues and disagree on others. The ones you continue to disagree on will be the ones you will continue to argue until the divorce is ready to be final.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Your reference to a continuance is misplaced in this context, as it has nothing to do with the scenario you raise. So set that aside.
You should note that as a general proposition, subject to the exception of clear/undeniable allegations, it is effectively customary to deny any and all allegations. The idea is to be on the safe side & give recognition to the fact that most allegations are subject to multiple interpretations--especially in the legal arena, where hair splitting is an obsession.
Remember Bill Clinton's deposition, wherein he asked the attorney conducting the deposition to define the word "the"? That is the world of law, although if the technique is "abused," the Court will not appreciate it. Evasive answers and bumbling ambiguity will strip the litigant of credibility, and ultimately cost him/her the case.
The denials do not affect your ability to prosecute your case or engage in discovery. If you have the necessary evidence in support of your claims, or are able to obtain it by way of discovery, that's where your focus should be.
You can begin your discovery after the petition for dissolution of marriage has been served & you have tendered upon your spouse a completed Asset Disclosure Statement.
Furthermore, it is not at all uncommon for parties to have opposing positions in their initial petitions and nevertheless narrow their differences as the case progresses. The agony and cost of divorce are quite effective in causing the parties to compromise.
Lastly, of course your spouse agreed that the marital estate should be divided in an equitable fashion. The alternative would be that the estate should be divided INEQUITABLY. Now that would be a gift, if you were thus enabled to show the Judge what your spouse is all about.
Good luck to you.
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