Is There a Waiting Period to Get a Divorce in Illinois?

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Is There a Waiting Period to Get a Divorce in Illinois?

If you are contemplating filing for a divorce in Illinois, you may have concerns about waiting periods. Our Cook County divorce attorneys explain circumstances in which they apply and other time limits that can impact how long it takes to get a final order.  

Waiting Periods For Divorce in Illinois

In 2016, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Statutes underwent changes that made the process for getting a divorce easier. Previously, couples faced waiting periods of up to two years. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. Today, there are only limited waiting periods that apply: 

  • Residency status: There is no minimum amount of time you must be a resident of the state to file a divorce petition, but you must have lived here at least 90 days before a final order can be issued. 
  • Contested divorce: In a contested divorce, where one spouse does not agree to end the marriage, there is a six month waiting period before you can get a final order. During this time, you and your spouse must be living separate and apart. If you reconcile for any period of time, the waiting period starts over. 
  • Waiting periods in uncontested divorce cases: If you and your spouse both agree to a divorce, there is no required waiting period. However, there are time limits in filing, which impact how quickly you can get a final order. 

Other Time Limits That Can Impact Your Illinois Divorce Case

Even if you are not subject to any waiting period, there are other time limits when filing for a divorce through the Cook County Domestic Relations Court that can impact how long it takes to get a final order in your case. These include: 

  • Filing a divorce petition: Once you file a divorce petition in Illinois, it must be served on the other party. This can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. 
  • Answers and Counter-Petitions: Once served, your spouse has 30 days to respond to or answer the divorce petition. In addition to their answer, they may also choose to file a counter-petition, asserting their own version of the facts in the case. You then have 21 days to answer to their counter-petition. 
  • Scheduling hearings: It can take several weeks to schedule divorce hearings. In a contested case, you may need to make several appearances, along with scheduling negotiation and mediation sessions.  

Discuss Your Case With Our Illinois Divorce Attorneys

At Andrea Heckman Law, we help you get a divorce in the most efficient and effective manner possible. To discuss waiting periods and other time limits that may apply in your case, give us a call or contact our Illinois divorce attorneys online today.

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Andrea Heckman

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