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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


  1. Best answer

    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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  2. 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.


  3. 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.


  4. 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.


  5. 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 Withdrawing the complaint, after a counter-claim, would also require that the counter-claim be also withdrawn.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.


  6. 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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