Uncontested Divorce in Illinois

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Divorce is a private affair. Today the divorce rate is increasing because couples are not able to cope up with the financial, emotional, physical and professional pressure. As a result they decide to part ways. It is unfortunate to know that around 40-50 percent of the marriages in the United States end up in a divorce. However, it is crucial to know the percentage of these divorcing couples who terminate their marriages after totally agreeing with each other on the vital issues of the divorce like property distribution, alimony, child custody, child support, etc. Studies reveal that more than 90% of the couples go for uncontested divorces in the USA. Like all other states in the US, uncontested divorce in Illinois has also become a common phenomenon.

"The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act," 750 ILCS 4/401 et seq., defines the divorce laws and requirements. In Illinois, the divorces are classified as fault and no-fault divorces and these might be contested or uncontested. It has been proved that no-fault, uncontested divorces progress through the courts rapidly and less expensively.

An uncontested divorce can be termed as an out-of-court settlement where the divorcing spouses chose to reach a mutually-satisfying agreement with or without the help of attorneys. It is advisable to know the major factors of an uncontested divorce, before you file for the documents and the court proceedings begin. For your convenience, some significant areas of such a divorce are summed up below-

Grounds of Uncontested Divorce in Illinois

Fault grounds

  • Conviction of a felony
  • Infection of a sexually transmitted disease
  • Drug addiction or drunkenness
  • Physical cruelty
  • Alienation of affection
  • Adultery
  • Mental cruelty

No-fault grounds

The issue that is termed as no-fault divorce in other jurisdictions is called "irreconcilable differences" in this state. This implies the following 3 points-

  • The differences between the divorcing parties have resulted in an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage
  • The efforts of reconciliation in the past have failed
  • Any efforts of reconciliation in the future would be impractical and would not serve the best interests of the family

In case of no-fault divorces, if the couple lives apart without any cohabitation for 2 years, the divorce is granted. If none of the spouses contest the divorce, then a 6 month period of absence of cohabitation is sufficient. There is no concept of a minimum waiting period after filing the divorce petition or dissolution is granted.

Process of Uncontested divorce in Illinois

In this state, the forms, essential paperwork, and the filing procedure alter from one county to another. However, the basic procedures are listed here-

  • The petition for divorce is filed in the circuit county court. This document is named as the "Petition for Dissolution of Marriage"
  • The Respondent is notified by means of a Summon that he or she has been sued
  • A hearing date is obtained
  • Forms that are essential for the hearing must be completed
  • The divorcing partners should remain present for the hearing
  • The Judge's order is followed by the divorcing couple

The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is served with a Summon by a private process server or a sheriff. The filing of this divorce petition is associated with a fee that is different in different counties. In case of uncontested divorces, there is a brief divorce hearing and only the Petitioner is expected to remain present for it. This petition comprises of the following information.

  • Information about each divorcing partner, like,
    • Name
    • Age
    • Occupation
    • Address
    • Duration of residence in this state
  • Place and Date of marriage.
  • Whether any other divorce is pending in some other jurisdiction or not
  • The grounds of divorce.
  • Whether the female divorcing partner is currently pregnant
  • Arrangements for the visitation, custody and support of any children
  • Plan of spousal support.
  • Request of relief like approval of parenting agreement, approval of marital settlement form or dissolution of marriage
  • It is stated that the divorcing partners are residents of this state and fulfill the jurisdictional requirements of the state

To get an uncontested divorce in Illinois, you can opt for DIY (do-it-yourself) divorce where you have to spend less on the divorce expenses. You can take help from a number of legal sites that provide complete overview of the divorce laws prevalent in Illinois. You can also download instructions and the necessary forms from the online divorce service provided by the Southern Illinois School of law.

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