The process for a quick divorce, which is technically called a simplified divorce, is outlined in Section 452 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Statutes. In a nutshell, couples without children, assets, or debts might be eligible for this streamlined procedure if they totally agree on all details. These general qualifications eliminate almost all couples, but this process is available in a few cases.
Simplified divorce is used so rarely that not many attorneys are familiar with the process. So, if you are considering marriage dissolution, you need to work with a dedicated Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer who can inform you of all your legal options. Your attorney must also be able to explain the pros and cons of each approach, so you can make the best decision for you and your family.
The general requirements outlined above put a simplified divorce out of reach for many couples. The specific rules are designed to weed out most of the couples who express an interest in this process. These rules include:
- Spousal Support: Neither party can “rely” on the other party for financial support. There is a difference between payment and reliance. However, as part of a simplified divorce, each spouse must waive any alimony claim.
- Jurisdiction: Many couples meet two jurisdictional rules, which are a separation of at least six months and a marriage lasting less than eight years. However, many do not meet the other jurisdictional rules, which are no children, no children expected, and both spouses living in Illinois.
- Property and Income: Neither spouse may own real estate, even if they claim the real estate is non-marital property. Furthermore, neither party can have a retirement account larger than $10,000 or an income larger than $30,000 a year.
Furthermore, the parties must have an extremely detailed written agreement that specifically divides all assets and debts that exceed $100.
Even an uncontested divorce in Illinois usually takes at least several months to resolve. But Rolling Meadows divorce lawyers can wrap up a simplified divorce, assuming the couple meets all the aforementioned qualifications, in just three steps.
First, both parties must submit joint simplified divorce paperwork to the Circuit Court Clerk in the county where either one of them resides. As soon as the judge sees this petition, s/he immediately schedules a final hearing. There are no preliminary hearings or other such things in a simplified divorce.
Next, the parties must submit an affidavit which states that they have divided all assets or debts in accordance with the written agreement they also submitted. This legal division, such as changing the names on accounts, must be complete before the final hearing.
Finally, at the hearing, which both parties and their attorneys must attend, the judge reviews all the paperwork and finalizes the divorce.
The most common reasons that people do not meet the qualifications are that one spouse has left the state or their property/income does not meet the required limits. In these cases, either an absentee spouse divorce or an agreed divorce is usually available. The procedures in these two kinds of divorce are a little more complex, but they are not much more time-consuming.
Work With a Dedicated Cook County Attorney
Not many people qualify for a simple divorce, but the option is available. For a free consultation with an experienced divorce lawyer in Rolling Meadows, contact Delaney Heckman, Ltd. We routinely handle matters throughout Chicagoland.