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Dissolution of Marriage in Illinois

 Posted on September 03, 2014 in Family Law

divorce, Illinois divorce, Joliet family law attorney, Going through a divorce can be a stressful and difficult time in life. The situation can become even more intense when trying to understand the different legal rules and statutes that govern divorce proceedings.

Here in Illinois, a divorce is legally referred to as the dissolution of marriage. Couples can either dissolve a divorce via the formal dissolution process or through the Illinois Simplified Joint Dissolution process. Both processes make filing for divorce a relatively painless procedure, especially with the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. Below are a few factors and procedural requirements that you should be aware of if you are ready to file for divorce in Illinois.

Basic Divorce Filing Procedure

In order to file for dissolution of marriage in Illinois, at least one spouse must be an Illinois resident for a minimum of 90 days. To begin the process of initiating a divorce in Illinois, a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage must be filed in the county circuit court where one of the spouses resides. The spouse that files for divorce must make sure that the other spouse is served with a copy of the petition. Upon receipt of the petition, that other spouse has 30 days to file an answer to the statements contained within the petition.

The Illinois Joint Simplified Dissolution Procedure

The Illinois Joint Simplified Dissolution procedure offers a more streamlined, no-nonsense approach to the divorce process. In order to utilize this process, the following conditions must be present at the time of filing for divorce:

  • The couple must not have been married more than eight years;

  • Either party must have fulfilled the Illinois residency requirement;

  • The combined net assets of the couple must not be worth more than $10,000;

  • Neither spouse can own an interest in any real property;

  • The total combined annual gross income from all financial sources must be less than $35,000, and neither spouse alone may have a gross annual income of more than $20,000;

  • The couple may not have any children of the marriage, including both adopted and natural-born children, and the wife may not be pregnant with the husband's child;

  • Neither party can receive spousal support from the other, and both spouses must agree to waive the right to receive maintenance payments;

  • The couple must not have lived together for a minimum of six months;

  • The marriage must have experienced an irretrievable breakdown as a result of irreconcilable differences, and any attempts at reconciliation must have either already failed or would be an impractical decision and not in the best interests of the spouses and the family as a whole;

  • A written agreement must have been executed by the couple, which divides any assets worth more than $100 in value, and also allocates financial responsibilities for all liabilities and debts amongst; and

  • The spouses must have both disclosed tax returns and all assets to each other for every year since the marriage was entered into.

After a couple that meets the conditions for the Illinois Joint Simplified Dissolution files the required paperwork with the circuit court, and has a hearing date set, a court will more than likely enter a judgment that grants the request for dissolution of marriage. If you are concerned about whether you should undergo formal dissolution proceeding or the joint simplified dissolution procedure, you should contact the experienced Plainfield family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Cosmo Tedone and Barbara Morton, P.C. We can advise you on the best course of action based on your individual circumstances.
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