Joint Simplified Dissolution of Illinois Marriage
The wedding is a faded memory now, and you and your spouse agree that divorce is the best option. You have accumulated very few assets, and you both agree on the division of assets. Since you are both on the same page, is there a faster, easier way to end the marriage? In Illinois there is, and it is called joint simplified dissolution.
Requirements for Joint Simplified Dissolution
Joint simplified dissolution is available to Illinois residents who have been married for less than eight years and can agree how to divide both the marital property and marital debts. It is a streamlined process that greatly minimizes the stress of a contested divorce and can keep costs down. You and your spouse can complete the paperwork together, and can appear in Court for the hearing and entry of judgment the same day the petition is filed. Only one Court appearance is required.
It is not available to every couple. In order to file for joint simplified dissolution, there are specifics that also must apply:
- The couple must have lived apart at least six months;
- They must have had no children together (whether natural-born or adopted);
- Neither spouse may own real property, such as a house;
- The value of all marital property, less encumbrances, must be less than $10,000;
- The combined gross annual income must be less than $35,000;
- The Individual gross annual income must be less than $20,000; and
- Both spouses must waive the right to receive any type of maintenance or support.
If you and your spouse meet all of these criteria, then joint simplified dissolution may be for you.
Do I Need an Attorney?
If joint simplified dissolution is supposed to make the divorce process faster and easier, why would you need an attorney? Because faster isn’t always better. There are a number of reasons why a simplified dissolution may not be the best option.
The agreed upon division of marital debts may be inequitable. For example, if you and your spouse had $30,000 in private loans that helped pay for the wife’s education, it may be unfair for both spouses to share in that debt equally, since the husband will no longer reap the financial benefits of that degree.
As already stated, one of the requirements is that each spouse waive their right to maintenance or support, formerly known as alimony. When in an unhappy marriage, you easily think short-term (i.e., getting out of it), as opposed to long-term. Maintenance may be something you would be entitled to receive given the circumstances; for example, if you put your education goals on hold while you worked to help put your wife through school. By agreeing to a joint simplified dissolution, you’re giving up the right to receive payments that could help you get by while pursuing those goals.
Palatine Dissolution Attorney
If you are contemplating filing for a joint simplified dissolution, you need to speak with an experienced divorce attorney. Even if you and your spouse agree on all the issues, an attorney can help review your case and fully explain what rights you may be giving up by agreeing to the simplified process, as opposed to a contested dissolution. Serving clients in in Palatine, Arlington Heights and the surrounding Chicago suburbs, the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., can help you decide if a joint simplified dissolution is right for you. Contact the office today to schedule a consultation.