Fast and affordable, and uncontested divorce in Illinois is the way most people in Illinois get divorced. It means getting divorced by agreement. But people still have questions. As one of the best uncontested divorce lawyers in Illinois, I wrote this article about the top 5 questions for uncontested divorce in Illinois.
Getting a fast and affordable uncontested divorce in Illinois is often a good idea for people.
Check out the information below, and see this video about the same topic:
#1: How long does it take to get an uncontested divorce in Illinois?
In most cases, it will take between a 2 weeks and 2 months to get an uncontested divorce in Illinois.
The factors that contribute to the speed with which you can get an uncontested divorce include the following:
- The county of the uncontested divorce
- How fast you and your spouse do what is necessary
- The court’s availability to schedule court appearances
- Your lawyer
Here’s a video I made about the 5 basic steps for an uncontested divorce in Illinois:
#2: How much does cost to get an uncontested divorce in Illinois?
It is true that getting an uncontested divorce in Illinois is the most affordable way to get divorced in Illinois. But prices can still vary.
The two main categories of costs are as follows:
- Court costs: There are court costs associated with the person filing the case (the “petitioner”), and the person responding to the case (the “respondent”). In the larger counties, such as Cook, DuPage, Lake, the total court costs can be around $750, or maybe a bit more. In some smaller counties, like Sangamon and Champaign, court costs can be less. In fact, there are some very small counties where the combined court fees are close to $300 total.
- Attorney costs: An Illinois uncontested divorce lawyer might charge from $1,000 to $3,000 to represent someone in an uncontested divorce in Illinois. Uncontested divorces can be ones involving assets, businesses, and kids, or very simple once between people who have been briefly married, have no kids, and don’t own businesses or real estate.
There are many websites that lead people to belief that they can use the website in place of a lawyer. However, I have reviewed many of those websites, and the documents they produce. The problems I run into are the following:
- Missing documents: Those websites claim to spit out documents for every court in the country. They don’t. Each state has different requirements, each county requires different documents, and some judges have special requirements. Those websites lie.
- Identity fraud: Those websites spit out documents that contain personal information that should not be included per the rules of the Illinois Supreme Court. But many of those websites’ documents contain data that can allow someone to steal your identity.
- Horrendous terms: Simply getting divorced shouldn’t be your goal. You want to get divorced on the proper terms that make sense for you – terms that are legally sound, complete, and help you avoid problems in the future. Do you really think it is a good idea to use document from a website that is owned by a foreign shell company?
By the way, you might want to check out this article I wrote about those websites.
#3: Can I get a flat fee for an uncontested divorce in Illinois?
Here, we offer flat fees to represent people in an uncontested divorce in Illinois.
That means that one affordable flat fee covers the following:
- Court Fees: Though we only represent the petitioner, we pay the court fees for the petitioner and the respondent (both parties)
- Obtaining information from the client: We have an intake procedure during which we obtain necessary information from the client, and we also have ongoing discussions when necessary.
- Draft documents: We draft documents that fall into two basic categories: 1) procedural documents, and 2) substantive documents (settlement agreements). The settlement agreements are what control are what control the terms of the divorce, and are the most important part of an uncontested divorce in Illinois.
- File documents: We file documents for both parties with the court. Though we only represent one party (the “petitioner”, who is our client), we file the documents for the other party (the “respondent”) as a courtesy. This helps moves the case along and saves the respondent the hassle of figuring out how to use the court’s e-filing system.
- Appear in court: We appear in court for the one court appearance that is required to finalize the case. That court appearance is called a “prove up.”
- Follow up: After the prove up court appearance, we follow up with the client if necessary about complying with the terms of the judgment for dissolution (what people call the “divorce decree”).
Check out this video I made about affordable, flat fee uncontested divorce in Illinois:
#4: Is there a waiting period to get divorce in Illinois?
Many people have heard of the dreaded “waiting period” for a divorce in Illinois.
Is there a waiting period? Well . . . yes, and no. Let me explain.
There are two common time periods that apply to people.
- Illinois residency: At least one of the spouses must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days prior to to starting a divorce case. That’s a sort of waiting period in the basic sense. For example, if both spouses live in California, then one spouses moves to Illinois, the Illinois spouse cannot immediately file for divorce in Illinois – he or she must wait 90 days to do so. All states have a rule like that. They want to avoid people moving to a state briefly just to get divorced there.
- The “6 month” waiting period: This is in fact the waiting period that most people are worried about. They hear that spouses must live “separate and apart” for 6 months prior to a divorce being finalized. There are several important points, however. First, this time period starts when the parties begin living “separate and apart,” and ends when the parties finalize their divorce – not when the divorce is filed. So that means a divorce could be started – just not finalized- before the 6 month waiting period has expired. Second, “separate and apart” doesn’t actually mean the spouses had to live in separate residences; in fact, they could have lives in the same residence, as roommates (instead of a “married couple”). Third, the court “presumes” that people have meat the 6 month requirement when they are getting an uncontested divorce in Illinois. In other words, in the case of an uncontested divorce in Illinois, the court can just pretend you have met the 6 month waiting period, even though you have not.
You might want to check out this video I made about who can get divorced in Illinois:
#5: Can we get an uncontested divorce if . . . .
The main impediment to most people getting a fast an affordable uncontested divorce in Illinois is that they don’t have an agreement.
A person cannot simply hope that his or her spouse agrees. There must be an actual agreement, and both spouses must cooperate to execute the necessary documents.
So long as that is done, then people who meet the other requirements can get an uncontested divorce in Illinois.
But people often ask me, “Can we get an uncontested divorce if . . . we have a business?” . . . .”if we have kids?” . . . . “if we own real estate?”
You get the picture.
Anyone who is able to get divorced in Illinois can get an uncontested divorce in Illinois so long as both parties agree.
It’s true that some cases are a bit more complicated than others. Obviously, a wealthy couple that owns multiple pieces of real estate, business, has kids and who has been married for 20 years will have more complicated divorce terms than two 24-year-olds with no kids who have been married less than one year.