If you live in Illinois, you have the option of filing for an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is just as it sounds – a divorce in which the parties are not contesting the terms, because they are in agreement on how the divorce will work. If you’re looking to have a quick divorce with as little hassle and expense as possible, an uncontested divorce is the way to go.
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act lays out the procedure for an uncontested divorce (which the statute refers to as a “Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage”). It states that married couples may file a joint petition for a simplified dissolution if, at the time the divorce proceedings begin, they meet certain factors. These factors include:
- No children were born or adopted during the marriage, and at the time of the divorce, neither spouse is pregnant;
- The parties have been separated for 6 months or longer;
- The spouses have been married for no more than 8 years;
- Neither spouse owns any real estate;
- At least one of the spouses has been a resident of Illinois for 90 days prior to the start of proceedings, or is a member of the armed forces who has been stationed in Illinois for at least 90 days prior to the start of proceedings;
- Both parties are willing to waive their rights to maintenance (i.e. alimony);
- The spouses have disclosed to each other all of their assets, and their tax returns, for all of the years that they have been married; and
- The spouses have a written agreement dividing all assets that cost more than $100 in value, and allocating responsibility for debts and liabilities between them.
There are also other requirements, such as maximum income levels, and maximum values of marital property, that may determine a couple’s eligibility for an uncontested divorce.
Filing for an Uncontested Divorce
If you have decided to file for an uncontested divorce, there are five different forms that must be filed: a Joint Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage; a Joint Affidavit; a Marital Settlement Agreement; a Judgment for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage; and a Dissolution of Marriage Certificate from the Illinois Department of Public Health Bureau of Vital Records. If you live in DuPage County, Illinois, you can find the first four of those forms on the county’s official website.
It is important to note, however, that as simple and streamlined as uncontested divorces are, they are not always the right fit for a divorcing couple – even if they meet all of the state’s requirements. If you disagree with your spouse on major terms of the divorce settlement, you can stand to lose quite a bit if you give in just for the sake of an expedited divorce.
Before you file a petition for any type of divorce, it is in your best interests to speak to an attorney who can look over your specific situation and help you determine how best to protect your interests. The attorneys at Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. in Naperville, Illinois, have been representing clients in divorce cases for years. Reach out to us today by calling (630) 961-0060 to learn how we can be of assistance.