While couples go into marriage with the thought of a lifetime of happiness, sometimes “til death do us part” is cut short. If you’re faced with the possibility of divorce, you may feel stressed, frustrated, and lost, not knowing which way to go.
If you or your spouse is in the military, this can add an extra layer of complication to the divorce process. Luckily, you are not alone. Vantage Group Legal Services is here to help, offering the highest quality legal representation you can trust.
What Is the Most Common Reason for Divorce?
There are a wide variety of reasons why marriages don’t work. When one spouse is in the military, the strain of separation and military life may take its toll. Some other common reasons why marriages end in divorce include:
- Financial issues,
- Lack of intimacy,
- Lack of communication, and
- Loss of identity.
Other more serious reasons may arise, like abuse or addiction. Whatever the reason, divorce is an unfortunate but often necessary event.
How Much Is a Divorce Lawyer in Chicago?
There is no set price for a divorce lawyer in Chicago. The total cost of your divorce will consist of your attorney’s hourly rate and how many hours are required to resolve your matter.
On average, Chicago divorce attorneys charge $260-$330 an hour. In total, divorces typically cost between $11,000 and $14,000.
As an alternative to paying typical hourly fees, you can use a subscription legal service, such as Vantage Group Legal Services. This type of service gives you access to an experienced attorney and support staff for a set monthly fee.
The total cost of your divorce will highly depend on your individual circumstances. Uncontested divorces will likely reach a quicker resolution, costing less. Divorces involving children or other challenges may require more time, leading to higher costs.
Do You Really Need a Lawyer for a Divorce?
Whether or not you need a divorce attorney will depend on your situation. No law requires you to have legal representation in a divorce. However, in many cases, having a divorce attorney will significantly help the divorce process go more smoothly.
Some of the most common reasons to get the help of an attorney include:
- There are minor children;
- You have extensive assets; and
- You’re seeking alimony.
On the other hand, if your divorce does not involve children or significant marital assets, you may be able to handle your divorce on your own.
Because military divorces can present some challenges, these divorces often require the help of a qualified Chicago military divorce attorney.
How Long Does a Divorce Take in Chicago?
Like many aspects of a divorce, the amount of time it will take to finalize your divorce will depend on your particular situation. Uncontested divorces can take a short amount of time, even as little as two weeks, while contested divorces can take 18 to 30 months to finalize.
The Divorce Process
After you submit your petition for dissolution of marriage, the clerk’s office will provide your case number, assign a judge, and issue your summons within two weeks after filing.
After your spouse has been served, they will have a chance to file their own appearance. They also have 30 days to respond and indicate whether the divorce is contested or uncontested.
The divorce process will proceed with discovery and court appearances. This step can be the most time consuming, depending on both spouses and their circumstances.
If your spouse fails to respond to the original summons, your attorney will ask the court to assign a court date for both spouses to appear. If your spouse does not appear in court, the judge may award your divorce through a default judgment.
If one of the spouses is in the military, the divorce process may differ. The ServiceMembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA) states that divorce proceedings may be postponed if a service member is on active duty. Postponing a divorce helps protect that spouse’s rights. However, the active military spouse will still need to personally be served with a summons and petition.
Chicago No-Fault Divorce
Chicago has the option of no-fault divorce. In a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse agree to file a divorce based on irreconcilable differences. Still, no-fault divorces require spouses to live apart for at least two years, unless both spouses agree to sign an affidavit shortening this time period to six months.
No-fault divorces do not mean both parties must agree on everything; spouses will still have the chance to work out all remaining details.
Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
Joint simplified dissolution of marriage is an expedited divorce process, with many taking less than a week to finalize. This kind of divorce is suitable for those without children or assets who agree on all matters.
To qualify for a joint simplified dissolution of marriage, specific requirements must be met, including:
- The couple was married for less than eight years;
- There are no children, and the wife is not currently pregnant;
- The couple’s joint annual gross income is less than $35,000;
- Neither spouse makes more than $20,000 per year;
- The total value of the marital property is less than $10,000; and
- The couple owns no real estate together.
If you and your spouse qualify, a joint simplified dissolution of marriage can offer a quick resolution.
Who Is the Best Military Divorce Lawyer?
The perfect Chicago military divorce attorney is a personal choice. This all depends on what exactly you are looking for in an attorney. It is wise to know what you want in an attorney and meet with them to get to know them before deciding.
Certain details you may want to consider when looking for a divorce attorney include:
- Solid skills and experience;
- Good reputation;
- Open and honest communication; and
Keep in mind that you may be working with this attorney for some time, so it is essential to pick an attorney you feel comfortable with.
Consult a Chicago Military Divorce Lawyer Today
If you are looking to file for divorce, do not hesitate to seek legal help from a qualified military divorce lawyer in Chicago. Military divorces can differ from regular divorces, but a military divorce attorney will know how to properly handle your case.
Vantage Group Legal Services offers clients personalized representation. We work with a network of skilled Chicago family law attorneys and provide legal support throughout your divorce process. Receive the highest-quality legal representation at a monthly subscription rate, saving you time and money.
We offer free consultations. Contact us today to get started.