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Joint Simplified Divorce In Illinois

Closeup view of gavel and wedding rings representing how a Chicago family law attorney can help obtain a divorce.
Under Illinois law, two ways to dissolve a marriage exist. The first and most typical method is a formal dissolution of the marriage pursuant to 750 ILCS 5/413. This type of divorce is the type that most people are familiar with. In this type of divorce, the divorcing couple disagrees about certain aspects of their divorce and needs the court to step in and help decide major family law issues, such as division of marital assets or child custody. The other type of divorce is a joint simplified divorce pursuant to 750 ILCS 5/451 et seq. This method is quicker, easier and often less stressful than a formal divorce.

Joint Simplified Divorce Eligibility Requirements

A joint simplified divorce occurs before the court and is available to eligible divorcing couples. The eligibility requirements for a joint simplified divorce in Illinois are as follows.
  • There is nothing to fight over in the divorce. In order to be eligible for a joint simplified divorce, the issues in the divorce must be just that - simple. The divorcing couple must have already agreed about everything concerning the divorce;
  • Things must be simple. Joint simplified divorce is available to couples who have hardly any assets, no children, and no money to fight over. In order to be eligible for joint simplified divorce, the couple must:
    • Have no shared children together;
    • Own no real estate;
    • As of January 1, 2016, the total combined income of the couple cannot exceed $60,000;
    • Waive their rights to spousal support; and
    • Want to divorce due to irreconcilable differences between them.
  • Duration of marriage is less than eight years. The marriage must have been shorter than eight years in duration for a couple to be eligible for a joint simplified divorce.

Period of Separation

As of January 1, 2016, the law concerning the period of separation requirement changed. To obtain a joint simplified divorce, the old law required a couple to live separately for at least six months prior to seeking the divorce. However, the new law, eliminated the period of separation requirement entirely.

Teamwork Works Best for A Joint Simplified Divorce

When a couple decides to pursue a joint simplified divorce, working together to complete the divorce as quickly as possible is of utmost importance. Couples utilizing a joint simplified divorce must work together to divide marital assets and put the agreement into writing. An agreement over the division of marital assets worth more than $100 must be in writing. The divorcing couple must work together to complete the paperwork required to petition for a joint simplified divorce.

A Chicago Divorce Lawyer Can Help

A divorcing couple can obtain a joint simplified divorce without the help of a divorce attorney. However, like any other legal matter, consulting with an experienced divorce attorney is a good idea to ensure that you understand your rights and the options available to you. In addition, when entering into a legally binding written contract, employing a lawyer to review the contract ensures that the document you sign does not contain anything that is not in your best interest. If you need assistance with obtaining a joint simplified divorce, or have any questions or concerns about obtaining a divorce, the divorce attorneys at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group are available to help. Please call us at (312) 585-6604 or visit us on the web to schedule your legal consultation.

There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.

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Contact Informations

Downtown Chicago/Loop Office
Fax:312-283-8636
Lake Forest Office
Fax:312-283-8636
Lisle Office
Fax:312-283-8636
Lake Forest Office

100 Saunders Rd.
Suite 150
Lake Forest, IL 60045

Lisle Office

3333 Warrenville Rd.
Suite 200
Lisle, IL 60532

Downtown Chicago/Loop Office

233 S. Wacker Drive
84th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606

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