An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties agree to the terms of the settlement without having to go to trial. The vast number of divorces end this way, because litigation (fighting in court) is expensive and time-consuming.
It’s in your best interest to reach as many agreements as possible with your spouse. You’ll save time, money, and hassle – and you can be sure you’re getting the best possible outcome.
Illinois law requires that assets are divided fairly between both parties in a divorce. You and your spouse are free to reach an agreement on your own; in fact, you should try to make your own agreement. If you don’t, the judge assigned to your case will have to divide your property for you.
Your Chicago family law attorney will be able to help you negotiate what’s most important with your spouse.
For the record, your debt must be divided fairly, too.
The courts’ primary responsibility in child custody cases is to serve the best interests of the child. That means the court’s job is to determine what’s best for your children (in the event that you and your spouse don’t agree on a custody arrangement).
It’s best if you and your co-parent can reach an agreement together. Your divorce will go more smoothly – and faster – if you don’t have to wait on the judge to decide for you.
You don’t have to prove fault in a divorce in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois. You simply must have “irreconcilable differences,” which means you cannot repair your marriage.
You do have to meet residency requirements (90 days if you have no children who have to be assigned custody, or 180 days if you do have children that need to be assigned custody).
If you filed for divorce, you can request that the court dismiss the case. However, if the divorce is already in process and your spouse has agreed to the divorce, you probably both have to petition the court for a dismissal.
Spousal maintenance (commonly called alimony) is money that one spouse has to pay the other to help prevent financial hardship and maintain the recipient’s standard of living. It’s calculated by a specific formula that a judge applies after determining that maintenance is appropriate.
If you have been the primary earner and your spouse’s job has traditionally been to maintain your home or raise your children, you may have to pay alimony. Sometimes divorcing couples that include two working people still exchange alimony. (If you’re still not sure whether you’ll have to pay alimony, talk to a Chicago family law attorney who can give you more specific guidance.)
Before you can file for divorce in Illinois, you or your spouse must have resided in Illinois for at least 90 days. If you share children, one of you must have lived in Illinois for at least 180 days.
Several factors determine how long your divorce will take. Typically, uncontested divorce can take place within a few weeks or months; a contested divorce can take a lot longer. The best way to speed up your divorce is to reach agreements with your spouse rather than hashing things out in court.