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Divorce is never easy, but a divorce that seems to drag on interminably can be exhausting and expensive. Couples getting divorced in Illinois generally want their divorce to move as quickly as possible so they can resolve important issues and get on with life. Unfortunately, it is difficult to know exactly how long a divorce will take; many different issues can affect the speed and efficiency of the divorce process. However, if you are looking for a sense of how long your divorce might take, the following information may be helpful.
If both spouses agree to an uncontested divorce, there is no waiting period. As long as a couple meets the residency requirements, meaning at least one spouse has lived in Illinois for at least 90 days, an uncontested divorce can be completed as soon as all issues are agreed upon. If a couple shares children, they must have lived in Illinois for at least six months. If the divorce is contested, there may be a waiting period for up to six months.
Getting a divorce started takes some time. After one spouse files for divorce, a court clerk provides them with a case number and a judge is assigned to the case. Then a summons must be served to the spouse who did not file; this can take several weeks. Depending on how backed up the court system is in the county where the divorce is happening, getting an initial court date scheduled can take anywhere from four weeks to several months. Both spouses must attend the initial hearing.
If a couple can agree upon all issues, the divorce is uncontested and can move rather quickly. In cases where a couple owns no property and does not have children, certain paperwork can be waived and the divorce could take place in just a month or two. However, the longer a couple has been married, and the more complex their financial and family situations are, the longer the negotiation process usually takes.
Even if a couple that has children and a home wants to try for an uncontested divorce, they must first reach an agreement on issues like creating a parenting agreement, child support, spousal support, and marital asset division. Under the best circumstances, with the help of mediation or collaborative divorce, this can take many months.
If a couple cannot agree on issues, the divorce is considered contested, and it can take much longer. Attorneys will start the discovery process, wherein documents and evidence are gathered and exchanged, and spouses may dispute each other’s testimony. In cases involving financial misconduct or domestic violence, expert witnesses may be called and criminal charges may even be filed outside of divorce court.
Although the exact length of a divorce depends on the circumstances and how well a couple can collaborate, a skilled Hinsdale, IL divorce attorney with Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio can help the process move much faster. We will ensure all forms are filed correctly and help you negotiate effectively with your spouse to work towards a fast and fair divorce settlement. Call us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation in-person or over the phone. Contact our offices at 630-920-8855.