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Understanding divorce in Illinois

Spouses in Illinois may benefit from learning more about the different types of divorce and how to initiate proceedings. A divorce is either classified as no-fault or fault, although the process to complete each is one in the same. In addition, a divorce will either be contested or uncontested. The quickest, easiest and least expensive divorce to complete is typically an uncontested no-fault divorce. In Illinois, irreconcilable differences is the term used to describe a no-fault divorce.

Irreconcilable differences describes an irretrievable discord in the marriage, and future attempts at reconciliation would be futile and impractical. The term also implies that any attempts to fix the relationship in the past have failed, and future reconciliation efforts may become detrimental to the family. The seven grounds filing a fault divorce in Illinois include conviction of a felony, adultery, infection of an STD, drunkenness or drug addiction, mental cruelty, physical cruelty or alienation of affection.

Petitioners must be a resident of the state for at least 90 days before filing for divorce at the county circuit court. After a spouse files the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the next step is to notify the respondent of the action with a summons served by a process sever or sheriff. Spouses usually begin preparing the necessary forms shortly after a hearing date is scheduled. Disputing spouses attend the hearing and receive the judge's mandate based on the facts of the case. If both parties agree, they move on to begin finalizing the marital settlement agreement.

Anyone who needs help understanding or initiating a divorce proceeding may benefit from contacting legal counsel. Divorce lawyers may be able to help a spouse negotiate a parenting plan, asset division, alimony payments or other important considerations many people encounter. Legal counsel may also be effective in helping a spouse assess and evaluate their financial needs after the divorce is completed.

Source: Divorcee Support. , "Illinois Uncontested Divorce", September 16, 2014

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