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DuPage County divorce attorney asset division

If you are considering divorce, you may understandably be feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused. The idea of dealing with the court system can be daunting – especially if you have never stepped foot inside of a courtroom before. Your confusion and anxiety may be exacerbated by well-intentioned friends and family who give you divorce advice that is simply untrue or does not apply to Illinois divorce cases. Fortunately, you do not have to face divorce alone. An experienced divorce lawyer will be able to give you the legal guidance you need to manage this difficult time in your life and move on to a brighter future.

Myth: I Will Need to Prove That My Spouse Did Something Wrong to Be Granted a Divorce

When a married individual files a petition for divorce, called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Illinois, they are essentially asking the judge to grant him or her a divorce. In the past, Illinois had both fault and no-fault grounds, or reasons, for divorce. Fault-based grounds were issues such as infidelity or mental cruelty. However, Illinois has since eliminated all fault-based grounds for divorce. Now, the only available ground for divorce is “irreconcilable differences.”

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Wheaton, IL divorce lawyer default judgmentMarriages end for countless reasons. Sometimes, spouses get divorced because they both agree that the marriage is simply no longer working. In other cases, only one spouse wants to divorce, while the other spouse believes that the marriage is still salvageable. If you are ready to end your marriage, and your spouse does not want to get divorced, it is important to know that he or she cannot stop you from filing for divorce. However, when a spouse does not agree to the divorce, he or she may take actions that could delay and complicate the divorce. Fortunately, you have options if your spouse refuses to cooperate with the divorce process.  

Spouses Who Do Not Respond

The only grounds for divorce in Illinois is “irreconcilable differences,” and either spouse may name this as the reason he or she is petitioning the court for a dissolution of marriage. The person who files the Petition For Dissolution Of Marriage is called the petitioner, and the other spouse is the respondent. During the divorce filing process, a court hearing will be scheduled. The petitioner is responsible for making arrangements to serve notice of the petition and the hearing to the respondent. The respondent has 30 days to respond to the notice, and his or her response may state why he or she disagrees that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. If the respondent does not respond and does not show up to the hearing, the petitioner has the opportunity to request a default judgment granting his or her requests for how matters such as child custody and property division will be handled during the divorce. The court may schedule a default judgment hearing in order to give the respondent a second chance to participate. If the respondent does not attend this second-chance hearing, the court will typically grant the petitioner a default judgment.

Spouses Who Cannot Be Found

In some cases, an uncooperative spouse may hide from the petitioner or the individual serving the notice of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in an attempt to prevent the divorce. You can still be granted a divorce if your spouse is missing, but you must take certain steps. You will typically need to show that you:

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Posted on in Divorce
Avoiding Delays in Your Illinois Divorce

Wheaton divorce attorneyEvery year, thousands of Illinois couples make the difficult decision to pursue a divorce. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), 29,331 couples throughout the state of Illinois elected to get divorced in 2013. For many people, divorce represents a way out of a psychologically, emotionally, or physically abusive relationship. However, while divorce can be a path out of a bad situation and a step towards a new, healthy life, the divorce process can take a great deal of time to finalize. 

Equipping yourself with a strong understanding of Illinois divorce law can help ensure that you will avoid any unfortunate snags that could prolong your divorce. If you believe that a divorce is the best option for you and your family, it is time to contact a certified legal professional to help guide you through this logistically and emotionally challenging process. 

Understanding the Basics of Illinois Divorce Law 

In the state of Illinois, a divorce is legally referred to as a dissolution of marriage. According to Illinois state a law, a couple can only file for dissolution if one of the spouses has lived in the state for a minimum of 90 days. In the event that your spouse does not reside in the state of Illinois, the court still holds the jurisdiction to order a non-resident spouse to pay child support, make spousal maintenance payments, or pay debts accrued while married. That said, divorcing a spouse that lives in a different state can lead to a longer divorce process. 

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changes to Illinois divorce law, DuPage County divorce lawyersOn January 1, 2016, changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), which governs marriage, divorce, custody, and support in Illinois, will take effect. Major changes of the IMDMA update include grounds for divorce and the length of time parties need to wait before obtaining a divorce.

Grounds for Divorce

Senate Bill 57 eliminates all fault-based grounds for divorce. Parties will no longer be able to file for divorce based on impotence or infertility, adultery, desertion or willful absence, bigamy, drunkenness, drug addiction, extreme physical or mental cruelty, felony conviction, or transmission of a sexually transmitted disease. Beginning next year, only no-fault divorce is available.

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