Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, which means that couples who wish to dissolve their marriages are no longer required to provide evidence of adultery, mental cruelty, or abuse to obtain a divorce. While this has made the process of dissolving a marriage much easier than in prior decades, obtaining a divorce is still no easy feat, as severing this legal bond requires couples to resolve a host of complicated issues, such as who will retain which marital assets, whether one party is owed spousal maintenance, and how custody of any children will be shared. You might wonder, “Do I really need to hire a divorce lawyer by me to ensure my divorce goes smoothly?” In a word — yes.
Divorcing couples now need only attest that their union has irretrievably broken down due to irreconcilable differences and that attempts at reconciliation have failed or would not be in a family’s best interests in order to legally end a marriage.
Under Illinois law, providing evidence that a couple has lived separate and apart for at least six months creates an irrebuttable presumption that the irreconcilable differences requirement has been met. However, this does not mean that a couple must have lived physically apart for six months to prove irreconcilable differences. Instead, proof that the parties have separated their finances, begun living in separate bedrooms, or have made other attempts to demonstrate their status as a separated couple is often enough to satisfy this requirement.
Couples who agree that their marriage has become irretrievably broken, but who cannot agree on other issues, such as how marital assets and debts will be divided, whether one party must pay the other alimony, and how parenting time of any of the couple’s children will be divided, will need to litigate these issues in court. How a court rules on these issues will depend in large part on the strength of the evidence presented, including financial documents related to income, expenses, and marital or separate assets. Parties who agree on all of these issues, on the other hand, can proceed with an uncontested divorce, which is usually resolved much more quickly than contested divorce proceedings.
Whether a couple’s divorce qualifies as contested or uncontested, neither party will be able to obtain a divorce unless one of the spouses has lived in the state for at least 90 days, continuously preceding the prove-up or final court date. Fortunately for many couples, this span of time is usually measured up to the date of the divorce judgment itself, not from the date that the parties filed for divorce, ensuring that most Illinois residents who wish to obtain a divorce decree satisfy this requirement.
To schedule a free case evaluation with a dedicated divorce lawyer by you at Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd., please send us a message at email@example.com today.