Prior to 2016, Illinois couples who decided to file for divorce were required to provide proof of fault before the courts would legally terminate their marriage. This made divorce, an already emotional and complex process, even more contentious and difficult. Fortunately, the Illinois Legislature helped remedy this problem by making the transition to no-fault divorce. Now, in order to obtain a divorce, a couple need only establish that irreconcilable differences have led to the irretrievable breakdown of their marriage.
Despite efforts by state lawmakers, divorce remains a complex process, so if you and your spouse are thinking about dissolving your marriage, ask yourself, “Should I contact an experienced divorce attorney near me?” We can walk you through the steps of filing for divorce and ensure that your legal rights and interests are protected throughout the process.
In Illinois, divorcing spouses do not need to prove that one or the other was at fault for the marriage’s failure in order to obtain a divorce. Instead, the parties need only establish that:
Generally, courts presume that a couple who has been living separate and apart for at least six months has met this burden. Fortunately, living separate and apart does not necessarily require two parties to reside in different homes. Instead, this term refers to a couple’s decision to live separate lives, which could take the form of opening separate bank accounts or holding themselves out to be separated, and/or sleeping in separate living quarters.
There are two main types of divorce in Illinois; the first is known as a contested divorce and involves scenarios in which a married couple cannot come to an agreement about divorce-related issues that must be resolved before their marriage can be terminated, such as:
Couples who disagree on one or more of these issues and who have already tried mediation will most likely need to litigate the issues in court.
An uncontested divorce, a dissolution of marriage in Illinois, means that both spouses agree on all of the aforementioned legal issues. As long as the court approves the agreement negotiated by the parties and their attorney, the parties will not be required to litigate any of the issues in court. Alternatively, a person could be granted an uncontested divorce if he or she filed for divorce, but the other spouse did not submit a reply within one month of receipt. This is also known as a “default Judgment for Dissolution”.
Illinois also has an expedited form of uncontested divorce, known as a joint simplified dissolution, which is designed to speed up the process of divorce for couples who have been married for no more than eight years, do not have children together, have less than $10,000 in joint marital property, earn less than $35,000 in gross income, and agree to waive the right to alimony.
If you and your spouse have decided to dissolve your marriage, please contact one of the experienced divorce attorneys near you at Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. by sending an email to email@example.com, or by submitting one of our brief online contact forms.