Divorce may be a small word, but it always leaves a massive impact on the lives it touches. You must be here because you are considering a divorce, or someone close to you is. It’s entirely rational to want to speed up such a painful process. Fortunately, with some awareness and diligence, it’s possible to get a quick divorce in Illinois.
What Are The Requirements For Getting Divorced In Illinois?
The requirement for getting a divorce in Illinois is pretty straightforward. Either spouse has to be an inhabitant of Illinois for no less than 90 days before filing for divorce. There is no compulsion to file for divorce where the couple got married and no waiting period in Illinois before the divorce is finalized. If you understand the above points and find yourself eligible, you can apply for a divorce.
What Are The Grounds For Divorce In The State Of Illinois?
Illinois offers the provision for a no-fault separation. This means the couple does not have to prove anybody’s fault for the marriage’s failure before a court of law to obtain a divorce. However, to file for a no-fault dissolution, you must choose the ground ‘Irretrievable Breakdown.’ It means that you and your spouse no longer get along.
There are also specific grounds for divorce, but they require submission of evidence and a proper trial. These fault-based grounds include:
- Cruelty or Violence
- Willful Desertion (1 Year)
- Alcohol/Drug Addiction (2 Years)
- Unexplained Absence
- Conviction of Crime
- Venereal Disease
- 2 Year Separation due to Irreconcilable Differences
- Undissolved Past Marriage
- Attempted Killing Of Spouse
These other grounds for divorce require time-consuming procedures such as evidence collection, trials, legal battles, and so on. It’s difficult to tell how long a fault divorce case will continue. If you wish to get divorced quickly, applying for a no-fault divorce is your best bet.
Uncontested Divorce And Its Eligibility Criteria
In an uncontested divorce, the spouses are on the same page about all issues pertaining to divorce. Since there are no conflicts between the two parties, the divorce process can be carried out without obstacles. Uncontested divorces are usually quick. To be eligible for an uncontested divorce, the parties must meet the following criteria:
- Both parties wish to get divorced.
- The parties agree regarding child custody and visitation schedules.
- The parties have decided on medical insurance coverage for any minor children.
- The parties are in agreement regarding alimony or spousal support.
- The parties have decided how to divide marital property.
- The parties have divided responsibility regarding marital debts.
- The parties have chosen a place for their companion animal to live.
- The parties have no other dispute involving the marriage.
For a fast divorce, it’s necessary to keep the divorce uncontested. In some instances, an uncontested divorce transforms into a contested divorce because all the issues stated above were not discussed clearly. This can unnecessarily drag out the proceeding. Make sure you address all the potential areas of conflict in a transparent discussion with your spouse.
What Are The Alternatives?
If you are having doubts about proceeding with the divorce, there are other alternatives you can consider. One option is a legal separation. The spouses live apart to work towards reconciliation, and legal rights remain the same as in marriage.
In this case, the marriage doesn’t end. Rights and obligations are decided under a legal separation order. The spouses continue to enjoy the financial benefits of marriage, like tax incentives. However, they cannot enter new marriages. If a legally separated couple wishes to get back together, they can simply submit a request to the court to resume their marriage. If they ultimately decide to part ways, legal separation can help them attain a quick divorce.
Annulment is another option where marriage is declared null and void. The grounds for annulment typically involve force, duress, infirmity, alcohol, drugs, and fraud. A marriage can also be annulled if either party is physically incapable of consummating or underage. Prohibited marriages can also be annulled and do not require a divorce.
If none of the above criteria suits you, there is no reason to fret. You can still attempt to shorten the time required to get your divorce finalized.
Joint Simplified Divorce
In the case of uncontested divorce, the joint simplified divorce program is a great option. It is much quicker and hassle-free. But to apply for this program, the couple must meet the following requirements:
- The marriage or civil union cannot be longer than 8 years.
- The spouses do not have any children.
- Neither party is pregnant by the other.
- The couple is not in the process of adopting a child.
- The case is entirely uncontested.
- Both parties claim that they have “irreconcilable differences.”
- Neither party owns any real estate, and the total worth of any other property owned during the marriage is less than $50,000, subtracting debt.
- The parties do not hold any retirement benefits jointly, and the total value of benefits held individually is less than $10,000.
- The parties agree to divide all property received during the marriage worth more than $100.
- The parties agree to divide the debt taken during the marriage.
- Neither party individually makes more than $30,000 per year before taxes.
- The parties combined do not make more than $60,000 per year before taxes.
- The parties are ready to waive the right to spousal support after the divorce.
- The parties must show tax returns pertaining to each year of the marriage.
If your case matches all the criteria, you should apply for a joint, simplified divorce. If you are not eligible or feel like you would need some spousal support, you should proceed with an ordinary uncontested divorce.
Is It Better to Go DIY?
Lawyers in Illinois charge $260 per hour, on average. This can run the cost of divorce up to over $10,000, including the filing fees. That’s a huge amount to pay for an uncomplicated, uncontested divorce. If you are confident that there are no potential grounds for conflict, you can choose to carry out your divorce without an attorney or a lawyer.
However, DIY divorce or do it yourself divorce comes with its own set of challenges. You have to download the correct forms, fill them up yourself, and arrange paperwork correctly. Even if you pull it off, keeping up with the legal procedures is no joke. Each divorce is different, so don’t count on a divorced relative or friend to be very helpful in this case.
Fortunately, online divorce companies such as onlineillinoisdivorce.com can come to your aid. For a price as affordable as $139, you can get your divorce papers arranged by an online divorce company. Here’s what makes online divorce companies a good option:
- They use a simplified questionnaire to extract relevant information from the parties.
- They transfer collected information to the actual forms without involving the parties.
- They customize the application to suit all requirements after analyzing details regarding children, property division, and spousal support.
- They organize all the relevant forms and documents based on the unique nature of the case.
- The entire documentation process is online, and you can fill out the questionnaire from the comfort of your home.
- They guarantee client satisfaction. Some of them even offer 100% cashback if the court does not approve the petition.
- Internet divorce companies have online customer support to help you with each step while addressing your queries.
- They may also have allied services like wellness and counseling.
Things To Know Before You Start Online Divorce
- When you go for divorce over the internet, you need to be careful about which company you pick. You can visit the official website of the Better Business Bureau online and check out their reports to narrow down your choices.
- Don’t shy away from seeking help from the online support team. If you don’t file your case accurately, the company cannot help you.
- While the divorce process of same-sex couples is almost the same, the law keeps getting amended. Discuss this carefully with your online divorce company.
- You must ensure that the divorce stays uncontested. Or else, your online divorce company can’t help you, as they are not supposed to offer legal advice.
Stay Alert Until The Divorce Is Finalized
The online divorce company can ensure that your paperwork is in order and guide you through the filing process. But the process doesn’t end there. If you are not opting for a joint dissolution of marriage, the petitioner must serve the respondent. Try to assign a process server as quickly as possible and speak with your spouse to ensure they respond quickly to the legal notice. Most cases get delayed when the parties don’t serve notice or respond to them in time.
You must sincerely follow the court schedule and communicate with your spouse to fix an appointment that suits both of you. This is where your coordination and cooperation can save precious time. On the day of the final hearing, arrive at the court on time. Answer the judge’s questions as simply as possible without throwing any disrespect towards your spouse. If the settlement agreement is fair, and you both give consistent answers, the judge will sign the divorce order, and the divorce will be finalized.
There’s no denying that the process will be emotionally taxing, no matter how mutual the decision was. If you can keep yourself together and follow all these steps, the legal process can at least end quickly. And once the legal part is done, you can finally focus on yourself and the new life awaiting you.