Getting divorced in Illinois? Here’s what you need to know.

Monique Bolsajian
Getting divorced isn’t easy. 

Financially, emotionally, and physically - it’s a tough time all around. 

Luckily, there is something that can help make the process a smooth one - hire an attorney.

Having an attorney can help you feel more on top of your case. It always helps to have someone by your side, fighting for you. 

If you’re going through a divorce and want to seek legal advice, we can connect you with an attorney for an affordable rate. It doesn't have to cost thousands of dollars. 

In the meantime, here are some things you should know about getting divorced in Illinois.

Divorce Without Children

If you’re getting a divorce in Illinois, the process can take anywhere from six months to two years and might involve multiple hearings. 

The Illinois courts recommend that you gather the following information as you prepare to fill out your divorce forms:

  • Date of marriage.
  • Date of physical separation.
  • City, county, and state you were married.
  • Current home address for your spouse or other address where your spouse can be found.
  • List of all personal property that you and your spouse own together, and lists of all personal property that you own separately (including savings and checking accounts).
  • List of all real estate that you and your spouse own together or separately and the purchasing contracts for the deeds.
  • List of all the pension and retirement accounts that you or your spouse have.
  • List of all the debts that you and your spouse have together, and a list of all of the debts you have separately.

Make sure that all of your information is as accurate as possible and that you include identifying information in your records (i.e. the last four digits of your checking account number, the year/make/model and license plate of your vehicle, etc). 

If you fill out any of the forms incorrectly, you may have to re-submit them, which will add more time to your case. 

You will need to pay a filing fee when you open your case (or, if your spouse opened your case, when you respond to their papers). If you can’t afford to pay the filing fee, you can request a fee waiver. 

In preparation for your hearings, you should meet with your spouse to discuss your situation where possible. If you can come to an agreement about how you will divide your property, and who will be paying spousal support and how much, the judge will likely approve your agreement. 

If you cannot come to an agreement, the judge will hear both your and your spouse’s arguments. Then, the judge will make the final decision for you. 

Having an attorney by your side can make communicating with your spouse about these issues easier. Contact us to get connected.

Your divorce is not finalized until the judge signs your Divorce Judgment, which details your official date of divorce and your final orders. These orders, when signed, are enforceable. Any orders not detailed in the final judgment are not enforceable by law.

A lawyer can help make sure all of your requests are properly written so that they are as clear as possible. That way, there won’t be any dispute if the time comes when you need to enforce your orders. 

Divorce With Children

When you are getting divorced and you have children, you will be required to take a parenting class. You will receive details about the class from the court.

You will also need to decide on a custody and visitation arrangement. There are two types of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody indicates who will make major decisions for the health and well-being of the child, and physical custody indicates who the child will be living with for most of the time. Visitation details what each parent’s time with the children will be. 

You should also be thinking about child support. 

If you and your spouse can come to an agreement about custody, visitation, and child support, the judge will likely approve your agreement, unless there are other factors at play that may endanger the health and safety of the child. 

If you are unable to come up with an agreement, the court may send you to mediation

If you still cannot come to an agreement, the judge will make the decision for you, after hearing both of you present your cases. 

The process of finalizing property division and spousal support for spouses with children remains the same as it is for spouses with no children. 

If you are concerned about custody, visitation, and child support, an attorney can help clarify the process and fight for what’s best for you and your children. 

Contact us to find your lawyer today. 

This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps.

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