Written by attorney Sean Martin Mccumber

Dupage County Rules for Domestic Relations Cases

These rules were changed in 2008. Here are the important changes that both lawyers and pro se litigants should be aware of:

Discovery. Comprehensive Financial Statements now must be exchanged, with corroborating documents, within 30 days (previously 60 days) of the Defendant filing his or her appearance in the matter. The parties can no longer opt-out of the mandatory disclosure requirement. While this may seem like a burden, especially for short-term marriages or minor-asset marriages, the completion of the Comprehensive Financial Statement, at the very least, provides some proof that our clients are aware of the assets and liabilities of any marital situation. Finally, a party cannot serve written discovery requests on their opponent until the party has also served a complete Comprehensive Financial Statement. For example, once the Plaintiff has served his or her CFS, the Plaintiff can then serve written discovery requests. The Defendant, in turn, can serve written discovery requests only after the Defendant serves his or her CFS.

Consolidation of cases. While it has been the practice to consolidate Orders of Protection into pending divorce and parentage matters, as a practical matter, it is important to note that an Order of Protection matter with criminal charges does not result in a consolidation of everything into the divorce proceedings. Further, if there are guardianship proceedings in the Chancery division involving children that are subject to a proceeding in the Domestic Relations division, the guardianship case will be consolidated into the Domestic Relations proceedings.

Motions for Temporary Relief & Emergency Matters. Motions for Temporary Relief are to be filed on the presentment call (except in cases of emergency matters). The party responding to said motion will have 14 days to file his or her response and serve a Comprehensive Financial Statement. The matter shall be set for hearing within 21 days of the initial presentment. This rule should result, again, in an expeditious resolution of temporary relief matters, rather than having these matters languish due to full court schedules.

Petitions for Rule to Show Cause. Again, in order to expedite the litigation process, Petitions for Rule to Show Cause are to be filed on the presentment call. The Court shall set the matter for hearing not less that 14 days after presentment but not more than 30 days after presentment. The hearing shall determine whether the Rule shall issue. On the setting date, the Court may, but is not required to, order the rule returnable instanter, if the Rule issues.

Guardians ad Litem/Child Representatives/Attorneys for Children. Much of the rights, duties, and responsibilities have been outlined in Section 506 of the IMDMA, or in the case law regarding such roles; however, this rule provides a detailed outline of the obligations and expectations of attorneys appointed to represent children in Domestic Relations matters. The rule provides for the requirements of attorneys seeking appointments to such roles, including the Illinois Supreme Court’s requirement of a mandatory 10-hour training program for attorneys seeking appointment to such roles.

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