The main purpose of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act is to promote the cordial settlement of disputes and minimize the harm that could be done to family members by the legal process of dissolving a marriage. It also seeks to facilitate maximum cooperation and involvement of both parents in regard to the well-being of children throughout the divorce process. According to the Act, divorce proceedings will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of civil practice law.
In addition, the act eliminated any provisions regarding marital misconduct, or, in other words, Illinois became a no-fault divorce state. The initial pleading in all proceedings under the Act have to be denominated in a petition, which can be answered through responsive pleading. To put it another way, the person seeking the divorce must file a petition to be answered by the other spouse. In the event that one party is seeking an order of protection, the court will find out whether either party had either sought or been the respondent to an order of protection in the past.
Many issues need to be addressed in the process of creating a divorce agreement, including how the marriage estate will be divided and how child custody, visitation and support will be handled. The process can be complicated and emotionally taxing for the spouses and their children.
A family lawyer can help an individual create and file a petition for divorce that is in accordance with the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. If both parties can work out a divorce agreement that is not contested, the judge is likely to accept the agreement. If there are contested issues, a lawyer might represent one spouse's interests during court proceedings.
Source: Illinois General Assembly, "PART IV DISSOLUTION AND LEGAL SEPARATION", October 17, 2014