If you think you want to start an uncontested divorce in Illinois, you probably have an idea it can be a fast and affordable way to get divorced, with a lawyer, for a flat fee. However, you might still have questions about whether or not you are really ready to get started. That’s why I wrote this FAQ on being read to start an uncontested divorce.
What if both of us want to get divorced?
If both of you want to get divorced, it seems you are on the right track. However, getting an uncontested divorce in Illinois is more than just two spouses agreeing to get divorced.
Both also have to agree on all the terms of the divorce. Topics which required agreement include the following:
- Division of property, including splitting retirement accounts like pensions and 401ks. I wrote this article for an overview about dividing property in a divorce, and you might want to check out this article about splitting retirement accounts in divorce.
- How to jointly dispose of certain property, such as a house – agreeing on who it will be sold, who will pay for what, etc.
- Payment of support, such as spousal maintenance (“alimony”), and child support
- Allocation of parenting responsibilities (aka “custody”), and parenting time (aka “visitation”)
What if I haven’t talked to my spouse?
If you haven’t talked to your spouse about an uncontested divorce, then you are not quite ready to get started.
So you could speak with your spouse to see if you are in agreement.
You could also get a consultation with a lawyer to become more familiar with divorce law and the level of detail your eventual agreement should included. I do offer consultations – if you are interested, you should read this article about divorce consultations in Illinois.
What if we don’t agree on everything?
To get an uncontested divorce you must be in agreement on absolutely all aspects of the case.
However, sometimes people who contact me haven’t done so at that particular time. After speaking with them, it’s quickly clear to me whether the remaining points can be agreed to, or not.
Here are a couple options:
- Discuss the matter with your spouse at a later time
- Ask your lawyer for suggestions for other options
What if we start to fight?
If you start to fight, I’d suggest stopping it.
That’s because fighting about your divorce can take a long time, and it’s expensive. I handle many uncontested divorces each year, but I also handle hotly-litigated cases that involve millions in assets. So I can tell you that fighting about your divorce is something you probably want to avoid.
Here are some options if you start to have a disagreement:
- Speak with your lawyer for suggestions for other settlement options
- Give in to what your spouse wants.
- Mediate your case. In fact, you might want to check out this article about divorce mediation.
- Litigate your case.