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The Basics of Getting a Divorce in Illinois

 Posted on August 01, 2016 in Divorce

No one heads into a marriage intending to end it at some point down the road. But for many spouses, taking separate paths is the best option for themselves and their family. When it comes time to seek a divorce, individuals in Illinois must look to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. This law, which was updated at the beginning of 2016, explains when and how someone can ask the court for a divorce and how collateral issues like parenting time and responsibilities are determined. For answers to your divorce questions, do not hesitate to reach out to the DuPage County divorce attorneys of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. for a free consultation.

Here are answers to a few basic Illinois divorce questions:

Do I need a reason for my divorce?

No, Illinois allows divorce on the basis of irreconcilable differences. There used to be options for fault and no-fault divorces, but the new act simplified the process. Now, spouses merely need to agree that they have irreconcilable differences, or live apart for a continuous 6 month period prior to the conclusion of the divorce. A 6 month separation period provides a presumption that there are irreconcilable differences and that any attempt at staying together would not be in the best interests of the family. There is no longer a mandatory 6 month separation period to be granted a divorce based on irreconcilable differences.

Do we need to separate first?

So long as you and your spouse agree that you have irreconcilable differences, you do not need to live separately. If your spouse does not agree that you have irreconcilable differences, you and your spouse should live separately for at least 6 months, but you do not need to wait until you have been separated for 6 months before filing for divorce. Under the meaning of the statute, this does not necessarily mean separate residences, but could mean separate rooms within the same residence, so long as marital relations have ceased.

What if I moved to Illinois recently?

If you just moved to Illinois or became stationed at a military base in Illinois, you need to wait 90 days before your divorce can be finalized, but you can file for divorce prior to the 90 day period.

What if I need to move out of state?

You can move out of the state while your divorce moves forward in Illinois. Your divorce will continue as normal, which means you may need to travel back sometimes. Your attorney will explain when he or she can represent you in court and when you need to be present. However, in general, you cannot move out of the state of Illinois with your children without prior court approval.

Can I move my children?

If you want to relocate your children more than 25 or 50 miles – depending on your county – from their current residence, you may need your spouse’s or the court’s permission. If you are moving within a couple of miles of their home, then you likely do not need permission.

How long will the divorce take?

Every divorce is unique and the timeline depends on many things, including how much you and your spouse agree on important issues. A contentious divorce can take more than a year or two. A divorce where both parties agree on all issues from the beginning can be completed in a month or less. No matter your situation, an experienced divorce attorney will explain a likely timeline and help you reach a settlement as quickly as possible.

Do I need an attorney?

Yes, it is always best to have someone who can give you sound legal and practical advice when you are going through a divorce. Individuals who try to handle their divorces on their own often end up spending more time than they should on the proceedings and get frustrated. They also may not get what they deserve in terms of the property settlement or time with the children. An experienced divorce attorney knows how to navigate the local court system and helps you stand up for your rights if the divorce becomes difficult.

Contact Naperville Divorce Lawyers for Help

If you are ready to ask for a divorce, call the experienced family law attorneys of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. at 630-961-0060. They will answer all of your questions, no matter how substantial or how small they seem. With more than 95 years of combined experienced, they have helped individuals throughout DuPage, Will, Kane, Cook, Lake, and McHenry counties move forward with their lives.

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