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HomeBlogUncontested DivorceNavigating Uncontested Divorce in Chicago: A Comprehensive Guide

Navigating Uncontested Divorce in Chicago: A Comprehensive Guide

Divorce is often perceived as a contentious and drawn-out process. However, for many couples in Chicago, an uncontested divorce (or, as we like to call it “friendly divorce”) offers a more amicable and efficient way to end their marriage. This blog post aims to shed light on what an uncontested divorce entails, the benefits, and the steps involved in navigating this process in Chicago.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree on all issues, including parenting time and decision-making for minor children, child support, property division, asset and debt allocation to each party, and maintenance (which is also known as spousal support). A mutual agreement and understanding can eliminate the need for a lengthy court battle, making the process quicker, less expensive, and less emotionally draining. Without the need for months or years-long legal representation and court appearances, the overall cost of an uncontested divorce is significantly lower. Agreements on all issues mean the divorce can be finalized more quickly, often within a few months if you have the right legal counsel to draft and file the right documents. Uncontested divorces typically involve less public disclosure of personal matters, as fewer court hearings are required. The cooperative nature of uncontested divorces can reduce the emotional strain on both parties and any children involved. Lastly, couples maintain more control over the final agreement, as opposed to having terms dictated by a judge.

An experienced Chicago divorce attorney can help you through each step of the process, ensure that the proper documents are drafted and filed, and move you forward to a timely divorce.  Some items that you need to consider include the fact that at least one spouse must have lived in Illinois for a minimum of 90 days before filing for divorce. If children are involved, they must have resided in Illinois for at least six months.  If the residency requirements are met, your attorney will prepare and file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the appropriate circuit court on your behalf. This document outlines the grounds for divorce and the relief you will be requesting from the court.  Your attorney will then determine whether the other party is going to voluntarily accept the filed paperwork or serve the other spouse with the divorce papers, which has its own rules and regulations.  The subsequent drafting is significant and includes financial disclosure of both parties, statutory calculations of maintenance and child support, allocation judgment of parental responsibilities (parenting time and decision-making), marital settlement agreement and other documents required for the prove-up (day of the divorce). Even in an uncontested divorce, a final hearing and presentment of all of the documents outlined herein before a judge is required. The judge will review the documents, ensure all agreements are fair and in accordance with Illinois law, and issue a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage.

What can you do to ensure that the matter proceeds smoothly and remains an uncontested divorce?

Maintaining open and respectful communication can help resolve disagreements quickly and amicably. Even if the divorce is uncontested, an attorney can ensure your rights are protected and all legal requirements are met. If disagreements arise, mediation can provide a neutral ground to work out issues without resorting to litigation. Lastly, keeping all documents, correspondence, and agreements organized can streamline the process and prevent unnecessary delays.

Contact Divorce Lawyer in Chicago

An uncontested divorce in Chicago offers a streamlined and less adversarial path to ending a marriage. By agreeing on all key issues, couples can avoid the stress and expense of a contested divorce. Understanding the steps and preparing adequately can make this process smoother and more manageable for both parties involved. If you’re considering an uncontested divorce, hiring a legal professional can provide valuable guidance and ensure that your divorce is handled efficiently and fairly.  You can reach out to Jennifer Ward directly to schedule your initial consultation via email at jward@wardfamilylawchicago.com or via phone at 312-803-5838.

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