5 Tips: Quick Divorce in Illinois

“How do I get a quick divorce in Illinois?”

As an uncontested divorce lawyer in Illinois, that’s one of the most common questions I get. It doesn’t matter if the person is from Chicago, or the Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry or Will. Everyone seems to want a quick and affordable divorce.

And that makes sense. That’s why I put together this list of Tips for Quick Divorce in Illinois.

Tip #1: Check with your spouse

I get many calls from people who say they want an uncontested divorce, but they really haven’t yet spoke to their spouse yet.

An uncontested divorce, or amicable divorce, is divorce by agreement. Therefore, the first step in getting an uncontested divorce in Illinois is to check with your spouse to see if he or she actually agrees to getting divorced. At times, people not only refused to agree to the terms of a divorce, but also refuse to agree to the divorce at all.

Tip #2: Retain a lawyer

I have numerous cases where people tried to handle a divorce themselves, and even used some shady online divorce websites. That’s a bad idea for so many reasons.

Many of the divorce websites are not even run by lawyers. The users simply input information into a website, and a settlement agreement pops out.  The problem is that the website cannot possible ask the questions a lawyer would ask, and cannot spot problems like a lawyer would spot. Websites don’t think – they just spit out information.

And when clients try to handle divorces on their own, results aren’t much better. They draft clauses that are unenforceable, or confusing. And sometimes the judge doesn’t let the divorce go through. Or, even worse, the judge allows the divorce to proceed and the former spouses find themselves in court years later because of a poorly drafted settlement agreement.

Tip #3:  Inventory your assets and debt.

With few exceptions, everything acquired during a marriage is marital property.

And contrary to popular belief, it’s almost totally irrelevant if the property is titled only to one person.  If you don’t properly inventory your assets and debts, your lawyer will not be able to properly protect your rights.

Tip #4:  Get specific regarding the kids

I find that many people who want an uncontested divorce in Illinois have decided they agree to “just work things out” with the kids. In other words, then want to keep the parenting agreement totally ambiguous and just decided as they go along how to handle the kids.

But that’s not going to work. A judge who reads that agreement should not let it go through. Why? Because such an agreement would almost invariably lead to fighting years after the divorce.

As a lawyer, I would help you draft a parenting agreement that would help keep you out of court.

Tip #5: Stop using family and friends as lawyers

So many people call me and spend half the phone call talking about what some uncle or friend told them. Or maybe they waste time talking about some person they know that got divorce and what happened in that divorce. That type of stuff is almost always a waste of time.

Instead of comparing to other peoples’ divorces, and getting bad advice from non-lawyers, you should call your own lawyer. My job would be to help you reach reasonable conclusions and how to get divorce quickly and affordably.

What you should understand is that all divorces are different because all families are different. Further, laws change over time. And what’s more, judges vary. Therefore, the best way to avoid wasting time might be to stop using family as friends as lawyers.

Starting a quick and affordable divorce

I handled many contested matters, and I’m not scared of a trial. But I’m almost certain that an quick and affordable uncontested divorce in Illinois is probably your best option.

Depending in what county your case will be heard, the quickest your case might be is a bit under 3 weeks to under 2 months.