Obtaining a divorce in Illinois is a complex endeavor, requiring compliance with a series of complicated procedural rules, the violation of which could delay a divorce by months or even years. To ensure that your own divorce is filed properly and on time, please contact a top Chicago divorce lawyer who is well-versed in state law and can also ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
In 2016, Illinois officially became a purely no-fault divorce state, which means that courts no longer require divorcing couples to provide evidence of abandonment, adultery, mental cruelty, substance abuse, or domestic violence before they will dissolve a marriage. Instead, divorcing parties must now prove that their marriage has become irretrievably broken due to irreconcilable differences and demonstrate that all attempts to reconcile have either failed or would be detrimental to the family’s best interests. Generally, providing evidence that the spouses have lived separate lives for the preceding six months creates a presumption that this burden has been met. “Separate lives” could include relocating to different residences, opening separate bank accounts, returning to the use of one’s maiden name, or merely holding oneself out as being single.
There are two main types of divorce in Illinois — contested divorce and uncontested divorce. The former refers to situations in which the parties cannot come to an agreement about divorce-related legal issues, such as who will retain specific marital assets, like the family home, whether one party will be obligated to pay maintenance (also known as spousal support or alimony) to the other, how parenting time and parental responsibilities will be shared, and whether one party must make child support payments.
Uncontested divorces are significantly different, in that both parties agree on all divorce-related matters. There is even an expedited form of uncontested divorce, which is known as a joint simplified dissolution and applies to couples who:
Couples who qualify for a simplified dissolution are usually able to finalize their divorces much more quickly than if they were to litigate the issues in court. Alternatively, a couple could be granted an uncontested divorce if one spouse files for divorce and the other does not respond within one month.
If you and your spouse have decided to file for divorce, you need the advice of an experienced attorney who can walk you through the process. For help with your own case, please contact one of our experienced top Chicago divorce lawyers at The Law Offices of George M. Sanders P.C. You can reach a member of our legal team via phone or online message. We are standing by and eager to help you through each step of your case.