Tag Archives: Illinois divorce process

IL divorce lawyerDivorces that go through litigation take longer and are often more expensive than divorces that settle out of court. Unfortunately, sometimes there is no other option. Although the term ‘trial’ often has people imagining lawyers battling it out and yelling at each other, that does not actually happen. So, if your divorce must go to trial, what can you expect? Below are the basics of what will happen in any divorce trial in Illinois, so you can know what to expect if that is where yours is headed.

When Is a Trial Necessary in Divorce?

There is a good chance that during the divorce proceedings, one or both spouses may have to go to court. These are usually hearings though, and not an actual trial. A trial is only necessary when the spouses cannot agree on terms such as maintenance or child support.

When the couple cannot agree to all the terms of a divorce and it goes to trial, a judge will make the final decision on those terms. This is one reason why couples often try to avoid litigation but again, that is not always possible.

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IL divorce lawyerNo one wants to go through a divorce that drags on for months at a time. The chances are, if you are going through a divorce, you want it over and finalized as quickly as possible. Truthfully, there is no way to tell how long your divorce will take. It takes as long as it takes for you and your spouse to agree on all the issues, or as long as it takes a judge to come to a final decision. That being said, there are some guidelines to follow that can help you determine how long it will take for you to get your divorce finalized.

Waiting Periods in Illinois

In Illinois, there are some waiting periods that affect how long a divorce will take. If you and your spouse both agree to the divorce, you must live apart for six months prior to filing. If one of you does not agree to the divorce, that time period is extended to two years of living apart.

To file for divorce in Illinois, at least one spouse must have lived within the state for 90 days. This time period also increases to 180 days if there are children involved in the divorce.

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IL divorce lawyerThere are around 5,000 marriages per year in DuPage County, and there are almost half as many divorces annually, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The first step of divorce begins with what is called the petition for divorce. The petition for divorce is served by one spouse to the other. The spouse that serves the petition to the other is called the petitioner. First, they must file papers with the court, after which they are required to legally deliver, or serve, the petition to the other spouse.

What Information Does the Petition Include?

The petition for divorce generally includes all of the following information:

  • Location of marriage
  • Date of marriage
  • Names and addresses of the spouses
  • Names of children
  • Grounds for divorce
  • Statement that at least one spouse has had residency in the state for at least 90 days, allowing the divorce to take place in Illinois, as per 750 ILCS 5/401
  • Information about how the petitioner wants to settle matters such as division of marital assets, child custody, child support, and alimony

Temporary Orders

A petition for divorce may request the court to place temporary orders to help with the following:

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Illinios divorce lawyerMost people have heard of a prenup agreement and may be familiar with what one entails, yet many are unaware that there is a postnuptial agreement that can accomplish some of the same objectives. The main difference is that a prenup is signed by the parties before they get married, and a postnup is executed sometime after the marriage.

Examples of When a Postnup May Be Useful

Postnups can be used effectively in a number of circumstances:

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How long must I wait to get divorced in Illinois? How short is the waiting period to get divorced in Illinois?

How often have you heard someone say, "I can't wait to be divorced?" Prior to January 1, 2016, under Illinois divorce law, spouses could divorce using the grounds of "reconcilable differences" if both parties agreed [stipulated] that they had been physically separated for a period of more than six months. However, if only one spouse wanted the divorce, irreconcilable differences as a grounds for Illinois divorce was delayed until after the couple was physically separated for a period of at least two-years.
Shorter Waiting Period to Get Divorced in Illinois
Times have really changed in Illinois. There is now a much shorter waiting period for those wanting to be divorced in Illinois. Effective January 1, 2016, new Illinois divorce law has dramatically reduced that waiting time to six months if one spouse objects to the divorce. The new Illinois divorce law of January 1, 2016 has also dramatically reduced the waiting time if the parties agree to no wait at all.
No Waiting Period to Get Divorced in Illinois in Uncontested Cases
That is right. There is no wait at all to get divorced in Illinois. If the parties petition for divorce on day "one" they could be divorced by day "two" or as long as it would take an experienced divorce lawyer to prepare the necessary papers and process the case to the court. Two or three day divorces from start to finish may soon become the waiting time reality to get divorced in the state of Illinois.

Changes to the Law As it Now Reads

(750 ILCS 5/401) (from Ch. 40, par. 401)

Sec. 401. Dissolution of marriage.

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