Divorce refers to the dissolution of a marriage and the termination of the marital relationship and may either be uncontested or contested. A divorce may also involve resolution of various issues like: (1.) Child custody and all related terms and provisions including support, visitation and access to the children; (2.) Division of the Parties assets and allocating debt in an equitable manner; (3.) Maintenance or spousal support from one spouse to the other; and (4.) Division of assets acquired during the marriage.
An uncontested divorce is a divorce that is agreed to by both spouses and is characterized by a marital settlement agreement that is negotiated and approved by both spouses and addresses all divorce-related issues including child custody and related matters, allocation of assets and debts, property division, maintenance, etc.
An uncontested divorce is a divorce wherein there are disagreements over any and all divorce-related issues including child custody and related matters, allocation of assets and debts, property division, maintenance, and neither Party can find an agreed to resolution either through negotiations or mediation requiring any resolution to be achieved through the Courts.
Grounds for Divorce
Illinois recognizes both no-fault and fault grounds for divorce. A no-fault divorce refers to a divorce that does not involve marital misconduct and is based on “irreconcilable differences.” No-fault divorce requires that the Parties must be separated for a period of two years or, if the Parties have been living separate and apart continuously for at least six months before filing, then the Parties can waive the two year requirement.
A fault divorce refers to a divorce that involves a claim of marital misconduct, including impotency, adultery, bigamy, desertion, cruelty or a felony conviction. A fault divorce is typically claimed if the Parties do not satisfy the two-year separation requirement of a no-fault divorce, or the Parties do not agree to the divorce and can not get the Courts to waive the separation requirement.
Illinois also recognizes civil unions, which afford same-sex and opposite-sex couples a legal status similar to marriage. Although it does not give these couples exactly the same rights as a marriage does, a civil union is dissolved in the same manner as a marriage.
Residency Requirement and Separation Period
Illinois requires a three months residency requirement for at least one the Parties before either Party can file for divorce in Illinois.
A no-fault divorce for irreconcilable differences requires a two years separation period, or if the Parties have been living separate and apart continuously for at least six months before filing, then the Parties can waive the two year requirement.
Property division refers to the equitable division and distribution of the marital property (acquired during the marriage only) between the spouses – meaning fair but may not be equal. Property division does not apply to any property that either spouse had acquired before the marriage or any gifts or inheritance that either spouse received during the marriage. In dividing and distributing the marital property, the Courts typically consider the length of the marriage, the property values, and each spouse’s economic circumstances. The court will also allocate marital debts (those debts incurred during the marriage).
SERVICES FOR DIVORCE
At Noorani & Villar, we provide full services for Clients who are undergoing divorce, including negotiating and/or preparing any marital settlement agreement and other divorce issues, as well as representing Clients in Court.
Please contact Noorani & Villar, P.C., where our attorneys will assist you in your divorce matters.