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No 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.
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.
The act of actually filing for divorce also takes some time. Once you have filed with the circuit court, the court clerk will provide you with a case number, the name of the judge that is assigned to your case, and provide you with a summons. It can take up to two weeks for you to receive this.
Your summons must be served to your spouse by the sheriff’s office, and that can take an additional two to three weeks. After receiving the summons, your spouse has 30 days to reply to it. If your spouse does not respond to the summons, your attorney will ask the court to set a date for a hearing, which is usually set for about four weeks from the time of the request. It is mandatory that you both attend this hearing. If your spouse does not attend the hearing, the judge may grant you a default ruling.
While going through a divorce, you will likely feel as though there is a lot that is not in your control. However, there are ways you and your spouse can expedite the divorce process so you can both move on with your lives.
If the two of you can agree to all issues, the divorce becomes uncontested, which is the fastest way to get divorced. If you can both also agree to the divorce, your spouse can complete and submit an Entry of Appearance, Waiver, and Consent form. This form states that your spouse waives the requirement of being served with a summons, as well as the waiting period between receiving the petition and the court date.
Spouses can also sometimes file a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, but this option is not open for everyone. To qualify, you must have been married for less than eight years, been separated for more than six months, and not have any children. This option is also only available to low-income earners that do not own real estate, such as a marital home, together. For couples that qualify, this option can take less than a week to get the divorce finalized.
The length of time a divorce takes largely depends on the couple going through it, and whether they agree to the terms of the divorce. However, a skilled Hinsdale divorce lawyer can help speed the process along by ensuring all forms are completed and filed properly, and by negotiating effectively with the other side. At the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, we want to make the divorce process as easy as possible for you. We will help you navigate the process, understand the steps that you must take, and ensure your divorce is finalized as quickly as possible. Call us today at 630-920-8855 to schedule your free consultation.