The timeframe for settling a divorce depends on two things: how you want to proceed with the divorce and the degree of disagreement on key issues. The former refers to whether you want to have a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce, while the latter is related to issues including property division, child support, spousal maintenance, assignment of parental responsibilities, and others.
How to Get Divorced Quickly
If you decide to go with a contested divorce, it will take a lot of time, not to mention the exorbitant amount of money and emotional damage both parties will incur. A typical contested divorce can take anywhere from several months to a few years, because it involves presenting your case in front of a judge, and can take multiple courtroom sessions to come to a conclusion.
On the other hand, an uncontested divorce in Illinois can take as little as a few weeks and up to a few months. It also reduces stress and anxiety, saves you money, and speeds up your way through the court system. In this type of divorce, one spouse files for the divorce, while the defending spouse doesnâ€™t attempt to argue on any key issues. Even if they do disagree on some issues, they can opt for Alternative Dispute Resolution methods, such as mediation, collaborative family law, and arbitration, to reach an agreement before filing the divorce case.
The Filing Process
Every county has a slightly different process of filing for an uncontested divorce. The two most important documents you will need are the Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. An MSA plays a key role in resolving your divorce case and should be the first thing that both spouses and their attorneys should work on. The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage document includes the grounds for the divorce, information about living arrangements, and details of any children. You will also need to sign and finalize joint parenting agreements before your divorce attorney can initiate a case in the circuit court.
After this, the petition will be submitted to the circuit court, and you will receive a case number, along with the name of the judge who will oversee your case. In a typical contested divorce, the petitioner has to serve the papers through a sheriff office to the other spouse, but in an uncontested divorce, it is not necessary. The defendant spouse can voluntarily file an appearance form to avoid this step.
The next step is called the Prove Up, in which you schedule an appearance in the court to finalize the divorce. The judge will hear the testimony of both spouses and will review the settlement agreement before giving the final verdict on your divorce case. If the judge approves the settlement agreement, they will make the decision and sign your judgment for divorce. With this, you will be divorced immediately.
If you want to settle your divorce quickly, you should talk to a reliable and experienced divorce attorney to provide you with legal counsel and expedite the process. Contact Casement Group, P.C. today at (847) 888-9300 for a free consultation and discuss your case.