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Ending a marriage in Illinois does not have to be complicated

You and your spouse may have promised years or even decades ago that you would remain together until one of you died. However, relationships morph over time and some couples simply drift apart.

If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you may naturally feel overwhelmed, not knowing where to start. Here are a couple of important pointers when it comes to filing for divorce in the state of Illinois.

The Illinois divorce process

If you want to get divorced in Illinois, you or the other party must have lived in the state for a minimum of 90 days before beginning your divorce proceedings. In addition, a waiting period exists in the state to allow you and your future ex-spouse to calm down and rethink your decision to get divorced. This period lasts six months; however, you and your spouse may choose to draft a written agreement waiving the waiting period.  

No-fault divorce in Illinois

Illinois used to have 10 separate grounds for the dissolution of a marriage. However, this changed at the beginning of 2016 when the state legislature eliminated fault-based grounds for divorce. This essentially leaves "irreconcilable differences" as the primary basis for getting divorced.

Simplified joint dissolution requirements in Illinois

For a simplified marital dissolution to happen, your marital property's fair market value must be under $50,000. In addition, your or your spouse's gross annualized income must not be higher than $30,000. Both you and your future ex-spouse must also disclose all of the tax returns filed during your marriage, along with disclosing other assets and liabilities as usual.

Your rights during a divorce proceeding

When dealing with the issues of marital property division, child custody or alimony, you and your spouse may want to try to reach a divorce settlement at the negotiation table, without court intrusion. This is often a lot less stressful and less costly than going to a trial. If you cannot agree on certain things, though, you will need to take the matter to court, where a judge will make the final decision on anything you could not resolve on your own.

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