In Illinois, when a couple wants to end their marriage, there are two ways to go about it. The typical approach is a formal dissolution of the marriage, provided for under 750 ILCS 5/413. This is the type of divorce many people are familiar with, where couples disagree about certain aspects of their divorce and need 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 called a joint simplified divorce, which is provided for under 750 ILCS 5/451 et seq., which is quicker, easier and often less stressful than a formal divorce.
A joint simplified divorce occurs before the court and is only available to divorcing couples who are eligible. The eligibility requirements for a joint simplified divorce in Illinois are as follows.
The law concerning the period of separation requirement is changing in the new year. Under the current law, which is valid until January 1, 2016, to obtain a joint simplified divorce, a couple is required to live separately for at least six months prior to seeking the divorce. However, under the new law, the period of separation requirement will be eliminated.
When couples decide that a joint simplified divorce is best for them, it is important for the couple to work together to get their divorce completed and over with as quickly as possible. Couples divorcing through a joint simplified divorce need to work together to decide who gets what in terms of their marital assets and put the agreement into writing. All assets worth more than $100 need to divided up in writing. The couple also needs to work together to complete the paperwork that is required to petition for a joint simplified divorce.
A divorcing couple can obtain a joint simplified divorce on their own without the help of a divorce attorney. However, like any other legal matter, it may be a good idea to consult with an experienced divorce attorney about your joint simplified divorce just to make sure that you understand your rights and the options you have available to you. Additionally, whenever you have to enter into a legally binding written contract, it is always a good idea to have a lawyer review the agreement before you sign it just to make sure the writing does not contain anything that is not in your best interest.
If you need assistance with getting a joint simplified divorce, or have any questions or concerns about getting divorced, the divorce attorneys at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group are available to help. Please give us a call at 312-445-8830 or visit us on the web to schedule your legal consultation.
100 Saunders Rd.
Lake Forest, IL 60045
3333 Warrenville Rd.
Lisle, IL 60532
77 W. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
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