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Illinois offers simplified divorce procedure

Illinois law provides for a simple divorce, called a joint simplified dissolution of marriage, for use under specific circumstances. Not all married couples will qualify for simplified dissolution; the law includes limitations regarding income, property owned, length of the marriage and reasons for divorce. If the parties do not meet all of the requirements, they will not qualify.

The joint simplified dissolution of marriage is designed for use in divorces that include only minimum complicating factors. The reason for the divorce must be irreconcilable differences, and the parties must have attempted to reconcile and determined that reconciliation is not in their best interests. The parties must have lived apart for a minimum of six months, and they must waive the 2-year separation requirement. The marriage cannot have lasted for more than eight years.

At least one of the spouses must have lived in the state of Illinois for a minimum of 90 days prior to making the divorce filing. The simplified dissolution is not available for couples that have children, either biological or adopted, and neither spouse may seek spousal support in connection with the divorce. The combined gross income of both parties must be under $35,000 per year, and the value of all marital property must be less than a total of $10,000.

The parties must decide, on their own or with the assistance of an attorney, how to divide all assets that are worth more than $100 as well as all liabilities. Once a divorce settlement is agreed upon, it must be put into writing and signed. There is a number of legal forms that must be properly filled out and filed with the court to initiate a joint simplified dissolution procedure. A family law attorney may be able to help parties who are interested in the process to understand their rights and obligations or to execute the documents required to effect a legal divorce.

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