In Illinois, divorces are either uncontested or contested, with the former referring to dissolutions in which the parties agree on all divorce-related issues, including property division, alimony, and child custody. Contested divorces, on the other hand, occur when the spouses are unable to reach an agreement on one or more of these matters. Unfortunately, uncontested divorces are not always possible, which could lead to time-consuming and expensive litigation, so if you and your spouse have decided to file for divorce, it is important to contact an experienced Will County divorce lawyer who can help protect your interests, whether in settlement negotiations or in the courtroom.
Uncontested divorces, which tend to progress much more quickly than contested divorces, can still take up to six months to resolve, as a judge will still need to review and approve the terms of the settlement. Filing for an uncontested divorce, however, is only possible if the parties involved agree on all divorce-related matters, including:
It is also possible for a divorce to qualify as uncontested if one spouse files for divorce and the other spouse does not reply within the allotted time frame. In these cases, the divorce proceedings will go on without the other spouse and the court will make decisions based purely on the evidence provided by the petitioner.
Contested divorces tend to take much longer to resolve than uncontested divorces, even lasting for years, especially if the parties involved disagree about more than one divorce-related issue. In these situations, the parties will be required to provide evidence to the court and request certain post-divorce arrangements regarding the division of marital property and debts, spousal maintenance, and child custody. How these issues end up being addressed will vary depending on the parties’ circumstances. All property division settlements and alimony agreements, for example, will be based on what is deemed to be equitable, while any child custody arrangements will depend on what the court believes is in a particular child’s best interests.
Whether an Illinois couple’s divorce is contested or uncontested, the parties will need to meet certain requirements before they can legally dissolve their marriage. For instance, to obtain a divorce, one of the spouses must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days. Even if these requirements are satisfied, a couple’s divorce will only be finalized if they can prove to a judge that irreconcilable differences have led to the breakdown of their marriage and that efforts at reconciliation have either failed or would not be in the family’s best interests. When the parties have lived separate and apart for at least six months, the court will assume that irreconcilable differences do exist.
If you are considering filing for divorce, you need the advice of a dedicated attorney. To speak with one of the experienced Will County divorce lawyers at Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. about your own case, please call our office today.