When a couple decides to end their marriage, it is not so easy as simply agreeing to get divorced. Depending on the circumstances, a divorce can be quite a complicated and difficult process and the right steps will depend on your preferred strategy and goals. However, the general process of most divorces is fairly similar and follows a necessary set of steps. If you are interested in starting the divorce process or have more questions about how divorce works in Illinois, schedule a meeting with a Chicago divorce attorney right away.
Should We File for Divorce in Illinois?
The first step when filing for divorce is determining whether you meet the residency requirements for filing in a particular place. In Illinois, you must have lived in the state for at least 90 days unless you have minor children involved in the divorce, in which case the residency requirement is extended to 180 days. You and your spouse do not both have to have residency in Illinois to file for divorce; only one spouse needs to be in the state.
Do We Need To Have Grounds For Divorce?
No. In Illinois, the only grounds necessary and acceptable for divorce are “irreconcilable differences.” If both of you agree to get divorced, the process can proceed right away. If one spouse does not want to get divorced, you will need to live “separate and apart” (but not necessarily in separate households) before the process can move forward.
Who Should File First?
While it does not necessarily matter which spouse files first, it may be advantageous to file first under certain circumstances. For example, if you are a victim of domestic violence and fear reprisal from your spouse, you may want to file for an Order of Protection at the same time as you file for divorce so you can exit the relationship safely.
Do We Need to Go to Court?
Most Illinois divorces are no longer litigated in court. Instead, spouses are encouraged to come up with a divorce agreement themselves, using the help of a trained mediator if necessary. While certain circumstances do necessitate in-court litigation, spouses tend to be happier with their divorce arrangements if they can work out a compromise together.
Will I Get Child Support or Alimony?
Payments like child support and alimony depend on each spouse’s circumstances, including their financial, emotional, and physical well-being, as well as the circumstances of the marriage and whether one parent has more parenting time than the other. Because these issues can be complex, having an attorney to help you negotiate the terms of your divorce decree can result in a more favorable outcome.
Contact a Chicago, IL Divorce Attorney
Once you start considering divorce, the questions may seem overwhelming. Instead of relying on internet discussion forums, get reliable advice from an experienced Chicago, IL divorce attorney at NextLevel Law, P.C. by Daniel R. Hernandez, Esq.. Our team has the skill and knowledge to give great legal advice and help you create a sound divorce strategy that takes your unique circumstances into account. Call us today at 312-442-2225 to schedule a complimentary, no-pressure case review.