No matter how long you and your spouse have been married, if you decide to file for divorce in an Illinois court, you must resolve numerous issues before the judge can finalize your case. Since your situation is not exactly the same as any other couple's, the course of action you pursue may be different than the one your friend, relative or co-worker chose when he or she divorced.
Understanding the different types of divorce and how each may or may not apply to your particular situation can help simplify and expedite proceedings. It's also possible that you may choose option that doesn't work out then have to switch courses midway through the process. The good news is that you can reach out for added support as needed as you prepare for divorce and lay the groundwork for a new lifestyle.
The simplest, least stressful process
An uncontested divorce is perhaps the least stressful. It's logical to assume that it wouldn't take as long to obtain a divorce decree in this manner as opposed to having to litigate a particular issue. The court considers a divorce uncontested if a spouse does not respond to the other spouse's request and doesn't dispute any decisions regarding property division, child custody or child support.
This is a no-fault state
Several years ago, Illinois joined other states that allow no-fault divorces. If you can show the court that you and your spouse have lived separate and apart for six months or more, you can obtain a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable difference.
What if your spouse is at fault?
Not every divorce can be finalized in a swift, uneventful manner. If you are filing for divorce on grounds that your spouse did something to cause irreparable damage in your marriage, then you will be claiming fault. Adultery is common grounds for this type of divorce. Abandonment, mental cruelty or criminal conviction may also be legitimate grounds for fault divorce in this state.
How to determine which is best
If you're a parent, you no doubt have your children's best interests in mind. You may also be concerned about finances or other personal matters as you make plans to move on in life without your spouse. It's often helpful to speak with others who have already gone through divorce because they may have recommendations about what to do and what types of situations to avoid. An experienced family law attorney can help address any particular legal obstacles that arise.