Divorce can be a hectic process that neither party could have foreseen during the initial stages of their wedded bliss.
Divorce can also be expensive and emotional. Several painstaking months or even years might pass between the initial petition for divorce and the final judgment. This all depends on how agreeable and responsive the other party is to requests.
It happens time and time again: one party goes into a divorce hoping for things to go as smoothly and quickly as possible while the other party is intent on sticking to their demands.
With all this contention, the traditional divorce process has understandably garnered a negative reputation.
Today, thankfully there are more options available that help streamlines the process of divorce. New approaches to divorce, like collaborative divorces and uncontested divorces, are garnering popularity because they can be more desirable to couples that seek to end their marriage in the most amicable way possible.
Most people are not familiar with the divorce process simply because they have never been through one themselves. Most people also do not know that there are ways to end a marriage without the added stress that comes with going through a traditional divorce.
What Are the Different Ways to Obtain a Divorce in Illinois?
The State of Illinois allows parties to obtain a divorce in several manners:
- Traditional divorce,
- Uncontested divorce, and
- Simplified divorce.
Depending on your unique situation, there will likely be one route that best suits the needs of your family. More people are opting to explore their options for filing a divorce from their spouse. There is no “one size fits all” approach to divorce, so it is worth considering all avenues to bring a marriage to an amicable conclusion.
What Is an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois?
In Illinois, an uncontested divorce takes a collaborative approach. Rather than going straight into litigation after preparing and filing a Petition for Dissolution, both parties enter into a process comparable to mediation. With an uncontested divorce in Illinois, both spouses work together to come up with a mutual agreement on all issues concerning their divorce. This is called a marital settlement agreement.
The agreement generally will discuss how the parties intend to divide their marital assets and liabilities. If the parties have children that were born of the marriage, the agreement also needs to resolve issues relating to parental responsibility. Details concerning child custody and support are delineated in a separate writing called a parenting plan.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Illinois?
The time it takes to finalize your divorce depends on a number of factors, including:
- The number of assets and liabilities there are to divide;
- Whether you have children;
- The willingness of both you and your spouse to cooperate and compromise during the process; and
- How quickly you provide one another with the necessary documentation of your assets and liabilities.
Generally, if both parties agree on the division of marital assets and liabilities—including the marital home, debit and credit cards, etc.—the process should take only a few short months, which covers the time to prepare the necessary legal documents for filing. The labor-intensive part of seeking the divorce is over once the discovery process is completed along with document drafting.
The last phase is to prepare for a final hearing on the matters at hand. Keep in mind that the timeline for obtaining a final hearing is solely based on the court’s schedule and how quickly they are able to hear the case.
What Are the Benefits of Filing an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois?
Simply put, filing an uncontested divorce can save both parties a great deal of time and money. A traditional divorce would require that you go through the process of a court case with opposing sides, service of process, rigid deadlines to respond to requests and provide documents, and more.
Filing an uncontested divorce in Illinois allows you to circumvent the vast majority of formal legal requirements. No one wants to deal with the repercussions that come with missing a court-imposed deadline. Additionally, since both parties agree to all things that would traditionally be considered to be “at issue,” there is no need to file any motions to compel the opposing party to cooperate. This means that both parties can enjoy the benefit of not incurring unforeseen legal fees because of another party’s noncompliance.
How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois Cost?
Costs for divorce will vary from firm to firm. However, there are general filing fees that tend to be around $300 in Illinois depending on the county where you file. You can confirm the filing fees by contacting the clerk for the appropriate county. The cost for the work your attorney puts into drafting the initial documents is where the bulk of the cost for an uncontested divorce will be allocated.
With the uncertainty of going through a divorce, it is nice to have some definite answers to how much money you can expect to spend. Hidden fees and uncertain monthly invoices from attorneys are the last things that someone going through an already stressful divorce needs. That is why Vantage Group Legal Services offers a subscription-based legal service to handle your divorce from beginning to end.
How Do I Get Started with an Uncontested Divorce?
To file an uncontested divorce, first ensure that both parties are willing to go the nontraditional route by agreeing to all facets of the divorce. Next, reach out to our team at Vantage Group Legal Services to connect with an attorney that has the knowledge and capability to keep the uncontested divorce process as easy as possible for everyone involved. Seeking and working with experienced attorneys will be the difference between both parties walking away fulfilled or disappointed.
Going through a divorce is stressful enough. You should have an attorney willing to zealously advocate for your interests. Call Vantage Group Legal Services today to arrange your free consultation and learn how we can help make filing for and obtaining a divorce as easy as possible.