An Illinois divorce, or dissolution of marriage, can be filed by either spouse to end the marital relationship. Upon completion of an Illinois divorce, the parties are restored back to single status. The court will also issue any necessary orders for child support and custody, alimony (spousal support) and the division of community and separate assets and debts. LegalZoom can assist you in the document preparation and filing for your uncontested Illinois divorce without the expense of an attorney.
Types of Divorce in Illinois
Uncontested Divorce in Illinois
The parties to a dissolution proceeding may file a joint petition for simplified dissolution (dissolution of marriage is the official name for divorce in Illinois)if they certify that all of the following conditions exist when the proceeding is commenced:
1. Neither party is dependent on the other party for support or each party is willing to waive the right to support;
2. The parties understand that consultation with attorneys may help them determine eligibility for spousal support;
3. One or both spouses meet Illinois? residency requirement;
4. Irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and the parties have been separated six months or more and efforts at reconciliation have failed or future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family;
5. No children were born of the relationship of the parties or adopted by the parties during the marriage, and the wife, to her knowledge, is not pregnant by the husband;
6. The duration of the marriage does not exceed 8 years;
7. Neither party has any interest in real property;
8. The parties waive any rights to alimony;
9. The total fair market value of all marital property, after deducting all encumbrances, is less than $10,000, the combined gross annualized income from all sources is less than $35,000, and neither party has a gross annualized income from all sources in excess of $20,000;
10. The parties have disclosed to each other all assets and their tax returns for all years of the marriage; and
11. The parties have executed a written agreement dividing all assets in excess of $100 in value and allocating responsibility for debts and liabilities between the parties.
To promote amicable settlement of disputes, the parties may enter into a written or oral agreement containing provisions for disposition of any property owned by either of them, maintenance of either of them and support, custody and visitation of their children. The terms of the agreement, except those providing for the support, custody and visitation of children, are binding upon the court unless the court finds, after considering the economic circumstances of the parties and any other relevant evidence produced by the parties, that the agreement is unconscionable.
Default Divorce in Illinois
If the Respondent spouse is in default, the court will proceed to hear the cause upon testimony of the Petitioner spouse taken in open court, and in no case of default will the court grant a dissolution of marriage or legal separation or declaration of invalidity of marriage, unless the judge is satisfied that all proper means have been taken to notify the Respondent of the petition for divorce. Whenever the judge is satisfied that the interests of the Respondent require it, the court may order such additional notice as may be required.
Alternatives to Divorce in Illinois
A legal separation is when the parties live separately but remain legally married to one another. A legal separation may be granted if both parties to the marriage have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for a period of one year next preceding the commencement of the action. Either spouse may eligible for reasonable support and maintenance while they so live apart.
An annulment is sought in order to nullify the marriage and disavow its existence, returning the parties to their prior single status, as if they never married. The person seeking the annulment has the burden of proving to the court that one of the conditions of nullity has been met in order to have the annulment approved. Annulments are most often sought by people who feel stigmatized by the status of being divorced, or for ease of remarriage in their particular religion. Marriage contracts may be annulled in the following cases:
- A party lacked capacity to consent to the marriage at the time the marriage was solemnized, either because of mental incapacity or infirmity or because of the influence of alcohol, drugs or other incapacitating substances, or a party was induced to enter into a marriage by force or duress or by fraud involving the essentials of marriage;
- A party lacks the physical capacity to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse and at the time the marriage was solemnized the other party did not know of the incapacity;
- A party was aged 16 or 17 years and did not have the consent of his parents or guardian or judicial approval; or
- The marriage is prohibited.