Although most married couples break up and may decide to date other people or move from their home, it is not a legal end to the marriage. The only way a marriage can legally end is if they file a petition in Illinois divorce court. A divorce ends the marriage and all the legal benefits of marriage. The exact time it takes to end the marriage depends on many factors. The main factor is whether the divorce is contested or uncontested.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is the fastest way to obtain a divorce. Spouses can apply for a joint simplified divorce. A simplified divorce requires the spouses to appear in court together and agree to all the terms of the divorce. This type of divorce isn’t for every couple who want an uncontested divorce. For example, a spouse getting a simplified divorce must not own property together, cannot have children together and can’t be married for longer than eight years.

For couples who don’t qualify for a simplified divorce, a regular uncontested divorce is their only option. In general, all uncontested divorces require couples to agree to the divorce and all the divorce terms. Divorce terms include dividing property, child custody and spousal support.

What is a Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce is a divorce where the spouses don’t agree to legally end the marriage. This type of divorce takes longer to resolve because one spouse doesn’t agree to end the marriage. Also, they may not agree on specific divorce terms like division of property or where their children should live.

With a contested divorce, the spouse who doesn’t want the divorce must file an Appearance and Answer. This lets the court know they don’t want the divorce. If they don’t file an appearance and answer, it is an uncontested divorce. The divorce case will continue without the spouse who doesn’t want the divorce. Also, a divorce court judge will make the decisions on divorce terms based on what the spouse who wants the divorce says.

Deciding to Get a Divorce

It is important to discuss divorce terms with a divorce lawyer Rock Island IL because they are so complicated. Divorce terms can prevent the couple from getting a quick divorce. If the couple can’t agree, a divorce judge will determine who gets what such as child custody and spousal support. Thus, it is best to speak with a lawyer to determine rights in a divorce.

Getting a Divorce in Illinois

Before one or both spouses file for divorce, they must meet state requirements. One requirement is one spouse must live in the county where they filed for at least 90 days prior to filing for divorce. Also, the couple must prove they are irreconcilable differences between them. If they have been living in separate places for at least six months, the court will assume the marriage is permanently broken. It is important to note that Illinois doesn’t recognize any other reason for divorce except irreconcilable differences.

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