According to data provided by the State of Illinois, more than 30,000 couples per year seek a divorce or annulment. While no one enters a marriage with the thought that they may at some point want a divorce, it does happen. And if it does, having an attorney well versed in Illinois divorce and family laws is important.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Illinois?
In order to obtain a divorce, you must have a legal ground for doing so. In Illinois, there is only one ground for divorce: no-fault, which is often times referred to as irreconcilable differences.
A divorce based on no-fault grounds is exactly like it sounds – neither party is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. In order to obtain a no-fault divorce in Illinois, a couple must generally live separate and apart for at least six months. This separation establishes an irrebuttable presumption that the marriage has failed.
How to File for Divorce in Illinois
If you or your spouse has decided to seek a divorce, certain documents must be filed with the clerk of your county’s courthouse. Among those documents that must be filed is the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, which initiates a divorce proceeding. Also required is a summons, which must be served on your spouse along with the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The summons notifies your spouse that you have initiated divorce proceedings. After you serve your spouse, your spouse has 30 days to respond to your request for divorce. However, before a court grants a divorce request, you and your spouse must resolve, at a minimum, issues involving any children born or adopted to the parties, property division, or maintenance (alimony). If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, a court will do so for you.
Do I Need a Divorce Attorney?
Court proceedings are complex and time consuming. Obtaining a divorce is no exception. You deserve a lawyer who is knowledgeable about laws and represents your best interests. Being represented by an attorney also means you do not have to regularly attend court and frequently miss days at your job. Instead, you will only attend court proceedings when absolutely necessary.
At Taege Law Offices, our experienced Illinois divorce attorneys can help you understand everything there is to know about Divorce Law. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (312) 228-5800.