Divorce proceedings are notorious for being costly, time-consuming, and in some cases, contentious. Fortunately, in Illinois eligible couples can file for a simplified divorce, which allows the parties to avoid some of the more frustrating procedural hurdles of dissolving a marriage. To learn more about whether you qualify for a simplified dissolution, please contact an experienced family law attorney today.
General Divorce Requirements
In order to file for divorce, a couple must fulfill certain requirements. For instance, the parties must submit a petition for divorce and establish that:
- They were legally married;
- One of the parties has lived in Illinois for at least ninety days; and
- They do not have any pending divorce proceedings in other states.
Parties to a divorce do not need to prove fault in Illinois. Instead, a couple must establish that:
- Irreconcilable differences have caused the marriage to break down; and
- All efforts at reconciling have failed and future attempts would not be in the best interests of the parties.
If the parties have children, they must also reach an agreement regarding:
- Property division;
- Child support;
- Child custody; and
- The division of parental responsibilities.
Only after these issues have been decided can a divorce be finalized.
Simplified Dissolution Eligibility
Some couples may qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage, which requires that they satisfy certain conditions, including that:
- Neither party is financially dependent on the other;
- The parties agree to waive their rights to financial support;
- The parties do not have children together;
- The couple has been married for less than eight years;
- Neither spouse owns real estate;
- The couple’s marital property does not exceed $50,000 in value;
- The combined gross annual income of the parties is less than $60,000;
- Neither party earns more than $30,000 per year;
- Both parties have voluntarily disclosed their assets, debts, and tax return information;
- The parties have reached an agreement regarding how assets worth more than $100 will be divided; and
- The couple has determined who will bear responsibility for any marital debts.
Finally, neither party can have an interest in retirement benefits. The only exception is for parties whose benefits are held in individual accounts and are not valued at more than $10,000.
Parties who fulfill these requirements can submit a joint petition for a simplified divorce to the local court. In addition to the petition, the parties must submit:
- A copy of their property division agreement; and
- An affidavit stating that all property has been divided according to the agreement.
Once all court fees have been paid and the necessary documentation has been submitted, the judge can finalize the divorce.
Call us to Today to Discover How an Experienced Family Law Attorney Can Help You
If you believe that you and your spouse qualify for a simplified divorce, please contact SAM LAW OFFICE LLC at 847-255-9925 to schedule a free consultation with experienced Cook County family law attorney, Susan A. Marks, today.