As a Lake County, Illinois divorce lawyer, I am able to help clients get a fast and affordable uncontested divorce in lake county. And it doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment in Waukegan or a lake-front mansion in Lake Forest – it is possible to get an uncontested divorce in Lake County – for a flat fee. This article is about how to make that happen.
Understand the cost of litigation
When you get an uncontested divorce in Illinois, you are avoiding the time and expense of litigation.
Before you fight about that antique rug or who get a used car worth $3,000, you need to know that litigation is expensive. Very expensive. And that means that the cost of litigation can easily exceed the value of what you are fighting over.
For example, Lake County divorce attorneys generally charge between $250 and $400 an hour.
If the case moves at all past the very initial stages, financial discovery will be needed. That involves filling out affidavits, providing 3 years of statements for all financial accounts, providing many other documents, requesting all that from the other party, and having your lawyer review all that. That process alone can cost more than $3,000. And that’s probably not going to be enough to finish up your case.
So if you are fighting about something that’s not really going to change your life, then get over it. The judge doesn’t’ care at all if your spouse cheated on you, if your spouse is a jerk, if you were lied to, or any of that. So you shouldn’t either. And when you understand that, you are perhaps one step closer to getting an uncontested divorce in Illinois.
Engage an uncontested divorce lawyer
I know that there are plenty of websites out there that claim to produce documents that a court is “guaranteed” to accept.
But what you should know is the following;
- Just because a court accepts a settlement agreement doesn’t mean it’s good for you – many clients have been amazed when I reviewed.
- You are probably not familiar enough with divorce lawyer to know if your settlement agreement will cause the results you want.
- The online divorce websites produce documents I’ve never seen before.
- When you use website documents, judges can tell – and they might give higher scrutiny to what you are doing, and that could be bad for you.
- Some divorce website are run by foreign companies that ask you for a bunch of person information. Does that seem like a good idea?
- If you need advice, you won’t get it from a website.
Come to a basic agreement
As a Lake County uncontested divorce lawyer, one of my most important jobs is to help people reach an agreement for an uncontested divorce.
To do so, you need to agree on the following major points:
- How to divide assets, debts, and liabilities
- What to do with the kids
- What type and amount of support will be paid, if any, including child support and spousal maintenance (aka “alimony”)
Complete necessary documents
In Lake County, specific documents are needed to open a case. Many of them are what might be called, generically, forms.
However, the most important divorce documents are those that contain terms of the divorce. Those are the following documents
- Marital settlement agreement: this handles all financial matters
- Judgment for Allocation of Parenting Responsibilities: This handles decision making and parenting time (aka “visitation”)
Appear in court, once
With the process I used for uncontested divorce in Lake County, my clients only have to appear in court once – and it’s usually for less than 2 hours (maybe even less than one hour).
The court date is called the “prove up,” and that’s where the judge has the petitioner (the party who filed the case) put the basic facts on the record. It’s not to hard, and clients generally don’t need any preparation other than a couple minute chat in the hallway before the prove up.
Most cases take about one moth from the start of the case, to the prove up date.
Take actions required by your judgment
The MSA and Judgment for Allocation (if you have kids) are attached the the Judgment for Dissolution (the so-called “decree”). Sometimes people are required to take certain actions after their divorce, such as transferring money, making payments, refinancing a house, and so forth. So after the uncontested divorce in Lake County, people should always review their judgement and make sure to take the required actions.