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Why did my husband file a counter-petition for dissolution of marriage?

Northbrook, IL |

I filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in September. My husband just filed a counter-petition for dissolution of marriage. Why would he do that? What could he possibly gain from it?

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

1. He has the right to file also.
2. In case you ask to dismiss or your case gets dismissed for want of prosecution.
3. If it is going to be a custody case.
4. If he want to file on grounds that are different than your grounds.

Talk to your lawyer about this.

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Posted

No to 2. No to 3. Ok to 4...but seems like a waste of resources.

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

Yes, some attorneys routinely file counter-petitions when they really are not needed and that can be a waste of resources. You are very observant. However, many Respondents want to have "their say" about filing for divorce and there is nothing inherently wrong with that. The concept of keeping the case open in the event of a withdrawal of the first Petition (which is actually quite rare) is always a consideration.

Posted

One advantage is that it keeps the case alive if you decide to dismiss your case. The case would continue based on his counter-petition.

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Posted

Thank you, but I have no intention of dismissing. I am waiting to receive the actual counter petition.

Posted

If nothing has happened on the file since September, he may have done so to make sure the case is not dismissed without his knowledge.

He also gets to input more information in his counter-petition as opposed to answering your petition.

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Posted

Thank you

Posted

I agree with the other attorney answers. As an attorney, when a potential client comes to me who has already been served with divorce papers, I always ask them if they also want a divorce.

If so, then I always prepare a Counter-Petition for Dissolution. This way, if the person who filed the case decides to drop the Petition, we are still able to proceed through the Court system and ultimately receive a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage based on that Counter-Petition.

It also allows the Counter-Petitioner to provide more detailed allegations than what is generally available to present in a simple Answer to Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

There are a variety of reasons a Counter-Petition is filed. But the bottom line is that you must now respond to his Counter-Petition, just as he was required to respond to your original Petition. Talk with your attorney about the next steps that should be taken in your case.

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Posted

I'm not certain of the underlying substance of Illinois law, but a counter-claim, or separate claim against the opposing party simply levels the playing field. Withdrawing the complaint, after a counter-claim, would also require that the counter-claim be also withdrawn.

It's not what he gains, but what he doesn't lose.

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Posted

This is not as petty an action as it appears. In the past I had a case where I had not filed the Counter Petition; the other side got an adverse ruling and dismissed their case.

This led to there being no order for visitation with the child and we had to get a new Petition filed so my client could see his son. With the Counter Petition, she could dismiss her Petition but all temporary orders would still be in effect because of the Counter Petition.

This is a general answer and does not address the specifics of your individual case. To give the specific answer you need our firm needs you to come in for a consultation.

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Posted

I am the one who filed the original petition. Do you mean strategy for me now that he has filed a counter petition?

Joseph Henry Sparacino

Joseph Henry Sparacino

Posted

As you are the original filer, the issue of the counter petition protecting temporary orders is not a problem. You now need to focus on your goals in the case.

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