Tips For Your Final Divorce Hearing

Posted by Erin Birt | Feb 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

Your divorce planning is done and your final divorce hearing, or Prove Up Hearing, has arrived.  This is when the divorcing parties formally request that the judge approve the terms of their settlement, enter a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, and finalize the case. Below are some tips for your final divorce hearing so you'll know both what you should expect and what's expected of you.

The below video highlights what to expect at your DuPage County Prove Up Hearing, or final divorce hearing, and the tips included are helpful for any divorce case in Illinois whether it be in Chicago or Springfield.

Tips For Your Final Divorce Hearing: Prepare

  • First and foremost, it's ok to be nervous. Your attorney will be there to assist you, and the actual hearing generally takes just a few minutes.
  • Prepare for this hearing with your attorney ahead of time. This preparation will lower your anxiety and fear of the unknown. If you've done any family mediation, things should go very smoothly.
  • Wear business-like clothing, a dress, or slacks and a top. Jeans are not appropriate when appearing before a judge. A suit is not required but can be worn if that is your typical business day attire.

    Tips For Your Final Divorce Hearing: At the Hearing

  • Leave your phone, tablet or other electronic devices in your car to quickly get through courthouse security. Every county is a little different on this, but if these items cause a delay you could potentially miss your court appearance. Better safe than sorry.
  • Make sure you bring a copy of your most recent settlement agreement to present to the judge. Make a final review before the hearing of this and all other documents to be given to the judge.

    Tips For Your Final Divorce Hearing: In the Courtroom

  • Other people will be in the room when you appear before the judge. However, don't worry if you get emotional. Most judges have tissues available or will take a break if you need it.
  • Listen carefully to the questions you are asked. You will have prepared for them with your attorney before the hearing, but emotions can sometimes disrupt how well you understand what was asked. It's perfectly fine to request that a question be repeated.
  • Be ready for the judge to make a speech after the hearing. This typically includes the findings made by the judge and an approval of the settlement agreement.
  • Once the hearing is over, your attorney will answer any new or remaining questions you have, discuss the finality of the Judgment, and advise you how to best obtain a certified copy of the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage.

Whether you've just begun your divorce process, have scheduled the final hearing, or need post-divorce modifications, I can provide the legal support and guidance you need and additional tips for your final divorce hearing. Contact me for more details.

About the Author

Erin Birt

Since 2003, Erin N. Birt, J.D., CADC has focused her practice on parenting time, divorce, mediation, and substance abuse issues. Ms. Birt's unique background in both family law and addictions counseling help her clients successfully navigate the complex issues of coparenting and divorce. Ms. Birt also devotes her time to presenting at continuing education seminars for attorneys, mediators, and counselors.


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