A divorce is a difficult time for the spouses and their family members. A contentious separation may be especially hard as both sides fight to have their wishes fulfilled. Often, both sides may prefer to strive for an uncontested divorce. 

When a couple has an uncontested divorce, it means that both sides come to an amicable resolution and agree on the distribution of property and assets. One type of uncontested divorce process is a joint simplified dissolution. 

Simplified divorce process 

In Illinois, couples may choose to have a joint simplified dissolution if they meet certain criteria. One spouse needs to have lived in Illinois for a minimum of 90 days before the divorce. A simplified divorce procedure may make the proceedings smoother and quicker. 

Qualifications: 

  • The couple lived separately for a minimum of six months or signed a waiver. 
  • The couple has no children. 
  • The couple has been together for fewer than eight years. 
  • The couple does not have high-value assets worth over $50,000. 
  • The couple’s combined income is less than $60,000. 
  • The couple makes a written agreement that stipulates dividing all assets over $100 in value. 

Part of a joint simplified dissolution requires that the couple acknowledge that they waive any right to alimony and are aware that they are not eligible to receive alimony from the other party at a later date. 

Steps to follow 

The couple needs to complete three forms to go forward with a joint simplified dissolution: 

  • Joint Affidavit 
  • Joint Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage 
  • Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage 

The Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage is the only form that does not require a notary. After completing these forms, the couple must provide them to a judge at the hearing for the dissolution. Both spouses may need to testify at the hearing before a judge makes a final determination on their case.