"During this COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to provide collaborative family law services for divorce, post-decree, pre and postnuptial, and parentage matters. All negotiations are done outside of the court process and we are able to have these collaborative settlement meetings virtually, through audio/video meeting technology. This allows us to abide by the Federal and State guidelines for "social distancing" while continuing to move your case to full and final resolution. In addition, courts in the Chicago metropolitan area are now operating through a combination of in-person and virtual court proceedings, depending on the county. After a few months of delays, we are now able to move court cases forward. Of course, as always, we continue to provide free initial consultations, which can be performed virtually using audio/video technology. We look forward to serving you soon." -- Lawrence Manassa

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What are the Legal Requirements for Divorce in Illinois?

What are the Legal Requirements for Divorce in Illinois?

Understanding the legal process of divorce before you begin can help you avoid common pitfalls that often occur during a divorce. Each state has its own requirements for filing for divorce and Illinois is no different. Having a skilled and experienced Illinois divorce attorney can help you navigate this very difficult and confusing time in your life.

Like most states, Illinois is considered a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that neither person has to be at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. It allows couples who decide to go their separate ways to file for divorce without anyone being at fault or the cause for the divorce. Illinois uses the standard of “irreconcilable differences”. For most people, this simply means that marriage is no longer best for the people involved because the marriage has broken down and cannot be repaired.

How Does the Divorce Process Begin?

The divorce process begins with the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This asks the court to dissolve the marriage and grant a divorce. To file this petition, the parties must show that one of the parties has been a resident in Illinois for at least 90 days prior to filing the petition, and the parties have lived separate and apart for six (6) months.

The requirement of living separate and apart for six (6) months can be met in several ways. First, the parties can live in separate homes for six (6) months. Second, the parties can continue to live together in the same house as long as they are living in separate rooms and are no longer intimate with one another. The parties would act like roommates than a married couple.

Once the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed the divorce process has begun. Having a skilled and experienced Illinois divorce attorney can help you navigate through the complex and confusing process of divorce. It is crucial to have an advocate to help guide you through this difficult and emotionally charged time. Illinois divorce attorneys are here to help you through this process.

Requirements for Simple and Uncontested Divorce in Illinois

Illinois provides a simplified way to obtain a divorce known as a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. The requirements for this type of divorce are as follows:

  • Neither party is financially dependent on the other;
  • One of the parties has been a resident in Illinois for at least 90 days;
  • The parties establish that irreconcilable differences lead to a breakdown of the marriage;
  • No children were born of the marriage;
  • The marriage did not last for more than eight (8) years;
  • Neither party has any interest in real property or retirement benefits unless said benefits are held in an individual retirement account and their combined value is less than $10,000;
  • The parties waive any rights to maintenance, also referred to as spousal support or alimony;
  • The fair market value of all marital property is less than $50,000;
  • The parties’ combined gross income from all sources is less than $60,000;
  • The parties’ individual gross income from all sources is less than $30,000; and
  • The parties have executed a written agreement allocating ownership and responsibility of all assets in excess of $100 and for any companion animals.

If a couple agrees on all aspects of a divorce but do not meet the requirements of a Joint Simplified divorce, the couple can file an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce can be more complex than a Joint Simplified divorce because it can include aspects of a divorce that a Joint Simplified divorce does not, such as parenting time, child support, spousal support, and large marital estates.

Although the Joint Simplified divorce and the uncontested divorce may seem like less complex alternatives to traditional divorce, navigating the forms and agreement between the parties may still be a difficult task without a skilled and experienced Illinois divorce attorney.

Why You Need a Trusted Divorce Attorney to Support You

Divorce can be a highly emotional and difficult time for all parties involved. Having an advocate to help you navigate through the complex process of divorce with better protect your rights as a spouse and a parent. An experienced Barrington divorce attorney can help provide the guidance, advocacy, and support you need during this difficult time. To learn more, call Manassa Bojczuk, P.C. at (866) 390-0672 or fill out our confidential contact form for a free consultation with one of our experience and compassionate Barrington divorce attorneys. We are proud to serve clients at both our Crystal Lake and Barrington offices. Call today!