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Palatine divorce lawyerRecently, English actress Danniella Westbrook and former husband Kevin Jenkins finally got a divorce after living apart for six years. Westbrook took to Twitter on Jenkins’ birthday to suggest that the perfect present would be to get a divorce since the pair had been separated for five years.

Although it is true that some people wait years before making a divorce final, most people want the entire process over with as soon as possible. After all, divorce can be messy and expensive, so few want it to drag on unnecessarily. Luckily, there are a few steps that you can take to shorten the length of your divorce proceedings. 

Illinois’ Waiting Period

The waiting period to get a divorce in Illinois is six months, meaning that once you file your paperwork with the court, you typically have to wait a minimum of six months before the divorce is final. When Illinois allowed for grounds of fault, that waiting period was extended to two years, unless the two parties agreed to waive it and lived separate and apart for two years. However, now that Illinois solely recognizes no-fault divorce, there is only a six-month waiting period.

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Palatine divorce attorney property division alimonyIn many cases, people going through a divorce find themselves in a difficult situation simply because they did not fully prepare for their situation and take steps to protect themselves. If you know that divorce is in your future, there are a few steps you can take to help the process proceed more smoothly and ensure that you are able to achieve a fair settlement that will meet your ongoing needs.

Copy Important Documents

Before filing for divorce, you will want to make copies of all of the important documents pertaining to your finances. These may include tax returns, wills, mortgage documents, life insurance policies and statements for bank accounts, credit cards, retirement accounts or investments, as well as any other documentation related to your marital property. This will allow you to have a full understanding of the financial issues you will need to address during your divorce.

Understand Household Finances

You should keep track of your utility bills, mortgage or rent payments and other household expenses. You will also need to be sure you understand your spouse’s income as well as your own and any debts or financial obligations either of you may have. If either you or your spouse are self-employed or own a business, you should keep track of all of the income that comes in for a few months prior to the divorce. By understanding your ongoing income and expenses, you will be able to address these issues during divorce and ensure that you can meet your needs after your marriage has been dissolved.

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