Understanding Uncontested Divorce in Illinois
Divorce is rarely easy, but there are ways to manage stress and create an amicable separation. Like any other contract, there are ways to leave marriage on secure and reciprocal terms, which is why many married couples choose to pursue an uncontested divorce in Illinois. By doing so, they are reducing the amount of stress felt by both the couple and any children they share. An uncontested divorce can also save both parties time and money.
What Is an Uncontested Divorce?
In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree to the terms of dissolving the marriage. These terms can include everything from the division of property to child custody and child support arrangements. For a divorce to be considered uncontested, both spouses must agree on all terms. If there is even one point of contention, the divorce will be considered contested. At that point, the couple will then need to determine if they wish to use mediation, get a collaborative divorce, or go through litigation in court.
An uncontested divorce is the fastest way to get a divorce in Illinois, often taking as little as a few weeks or months. Getting a divorce any other way can take many months, and it may sometimes take years before the divorce is finalized.
Uncontested Divorce and the Courts
Just because a couple decides to get an uncontested divorce does not mean they can avoid the court system altogether. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a court must review the settlement agreement, even in an uncontested divorce. When reviewing the agreement, a judge will look for several factors. The first is that the deal is fair to both parties. They will also ensure the agreement meets all jurisdictional and statutory requirements necessary to complete a divorce in Illinois.
Finally, the judge will also ensure the agreement does not contradict public policy. For example, under Illinois statute 750 ILCS 5/505, a parent cannot waive the right to receive child support, because the money received from child support is the child’s, not the parent’s. A parent has no right to waive what is not theirs.
The Discovery Process
Unlike other types of divorce, couples going through an uncontested divorce can opt out of the discovery process. The discovery process entails both spouses providing each other with financial documents and information to verify each party’s income, expenses, assets and any debts they are carrying.
Whether couples should opt out of this process or not will depend on the specific facts of their case. In some instances, both spouses may feel that they are already aware of each other's finances. This is often true in uncontested divorces in which the spouses are not resentful or suspicious of each other. A divorce attorney can review your case and advise you on whether completing the discovery process is in your best interests or not.
Speak to an Inverness Divorce Attorney
Uncontested divorces can be less stressful and more affordable than other types of divorce. If you are considering this route, then contact the Schaumburg uncontested divorce lawyer at Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. Call our office at 847.873.6741 to arrange a free consultation.