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Copyright (c) 2008 Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Loyola University Chicago Law Journal

Article: Better Civil Practice in Dissolution of Marriage Litigation

Summer, 2009

Loyola University Chicago Law Journal

40 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 911


Sanjay T. Tailor*


I. Introduction
The course of litigation will test a lawyer's knowledge of procedural law as much as the substantive law governing the case. Dissolution of marriage litigation is no exception. Yet, in seeking to enforce substantive rights under the law of dissolution, many practitioners fail to observe certain elementary aspects of procedural law. Trial judges, for their part, often overlook procedural shortcomings. Whether viewed from the perspective of a domestic relations practitioner or trial judge, any temporary gain that may be had by relaxing procedural rules is greatly outweighed by the adverse effect it will have on the administration of justice in the long term. Informed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (Marriage Act), 1 Article II of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (Code), 2 also known as the Civil Practice Law (CPL), and the Illinois Supreme Court Rules (Supreme Court Rules or Rules), this Article draws attention to procedural customs and practices in domestic relations cases that are at odds with well-established procedural law and suggests changes in the way certain key aspects of dissolution of marriage cases are litigated. This Article argues that adopting its recommendations would harmonize procedure between dissolution of marriage and other civil actions, to the great benefit of the courts, domestic relations bar, and, ultimately the parties involved. 3

"Nothing is more critical to the judicial function than the administration of justice without delay. Central to discharging this function, the judiciary must be unimpeded in considering ...
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