For many, the divorce process is the most stressful event they will ever go through. Divorcing parties normally just want to move on with their lives. The last thing either spouse wants is for the process to drag on.
Thankfully, unlike other states, Illinois does not impose a “cooling off” period on those seeking a divorce.
However, Illinois imposes strict residency requirements that you must fulfill before filing. Generally, at least one of the parties must have lived in the state for at least 90 days. In the event the parties have minor children, the residency requirement becomes 180 days. In addition to residency requirements, the type of divorce being sought determines the timeline for a divorce in Illinois.
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What Is the Fastest Way to Get Divorced in Illinois?
If you and your spouse are not dependent on one other, have no children, own few assets, make a modest income, have been married for less than eight years, and agree on every aspect of the property division, you may qualify for an expedited divorce.
Joint simplified divorces are the fastest and cheapest way to obtain a divorce in Illinois. Because the parties complete and file the paperwork together, there is no waiting on service of process. Moreover, joint simplified divorces typically require only a single hearing before a judge. The main holdup for these types of divorces is the court date. Court dockets are full. Expect the hearing to be no earlier than a month or two after filing.
What About Uncontested Divorces?
Uncontested divorces are for parties who agree on matters of property division, child custody, and child support but for whatever reason don’t qualify for a joint simplified divorce. In this scenario, the timeline is longer because the petitioner must effectuate service of process, which could take weeks. After receiving the petition, the other party has up to 30 days to file a response.
How Long Do Contested Divorces Take?
Contested divorces are the most time-consuming of divorces. The timeline for contested divorces includes service of process and 30 days for the spouse to file a response. Once in court, the judge will likely order mediation between the parties to settle disputes. Expect to wait at least a month for mediation. If mediation fails, the court will schedule a trial. Expect to wait around six months for this. Finally, after trial, expect to wait 60–90 days for the court’s final divorce decree.
Work with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
The extent to which each party is willing to work with the other generally determines the timeline for a divorce in Illinois. The greater the conflict, the longer the divorce process. If you are filing for divorce and are unsure of the best way to proceed, contact Vantage Group Legal Services for a free consultation. Our mission is to bring together the very best legal professionals to serve our clients at a truly affordable price. We can evaluate your legal options and help you determine your best course of action.