When couples decide to divorce in Illinois, they have two options: a contested divorce or a non-contested divorce.
March 31, 2023
How Do I File for Divorce in Illinois
Divorce can be a challenging and emotional process, but it can also be an opportunity to start a new chapter in your life. If you are considering filing for divorce in Illinois, it is important to understand the process and requirements for filing. In this blog post, we will explore how to file for divorce in Illinois.
Before you can file for divorce in Illinois, you must meet the state's residency requirements. In order to file for divorce in Illinois, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least 90 days prior to filing. Additionally, you must file for divorce in the county where either you or your spouse resides.
Grounds for Divorce
Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, which means that neither spouse is required to prove fault or wrongdoing in order to obtain a divorce. Instead, either spouse can file for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, which means that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and cannot be salvaged. This means that you do not need to prove that your spouse did something wrong in order to obtain a divorce in Illinois.
Filing for Divorce
In order to file for divorce in Illinois, you must complete and file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the circuit court in the county where either you or your spouse resides. The petition must include the following information:
Your name and address
Your spouse's name and address
The date and place of your marriage
The names and birthdates of any children of the marriage
A statement that irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage
A request for relief, such as property division, spousal support, and child custody and support
Once you have filed the petition, you must serve a copy of the petition on your spouse. This can be done in person by a sheriff or process server, or by mail if your spouse signs a waiver of service. Once your spouse has been served, they have 30 days to file a response to the petition.
If your spouse does not file a response within 30 days, you may file a Motion for Default, which will allow you to proceed with the divorce without your spouse's participation. However, if your spouse does file a response, the case will proceed to discovery and eventually to trial if the parties are unable to reach a settlement.
In Illinois, marital property is divided equitably between the spouses in a divorce. This means that property is divided in a way that is fair, but not necessarily equal. When determining how to divide marital property, the court considers a variety of factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse's income and earning potential, and the contributions of each spouse to the marriage.
In Illinois, spousal support (also known as maintenance or alimony) may be awarded to one spouse if they are unable to support themselves after the divorce. When determining whether to award spousal support, the court considers a variety of factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse's income and earning potential, and the contributions of each spouse to the marriage.
Child Custody and Support
If you have children, the court will also need to determine issues of child custody and support. In Illinois, custody can be awarded as sole or joint custody, and the court will consider a variety of factors when making its decision, including the child 's relationship with each parent, the child's adjustment to their home, school, and community, and the ability of each parent to meet the child's needs.
Child support in Illinois is based on a formula that takes into account the income of each parent, the number of children, and other factors. The purpose of child support is to ensure that the child's needs are met and that they are able to maintain their standard of living after the divorce.
In conclusion, filing for divorce in Illinois can be a complex process, but it is possible to navigate with the help of an experienced family law attorney. If you are considering filing for divorce, it is important to understand the residency requirements, grounds for divorce, and the process for property division, spousal support, and child custody and support. By working with an attorney, you can protect your rights and interests and ensure that your divorce is handled in a way that is fair and equitable.
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