Even though divorce is a family matter between two spouses, it is also a legal matter. As such, couples seeking a divorce must adhere to Illinois family laws. The law provides different requirements for couples who want to get a divorce. If you don’t meet or follow these requirements, you can’t get a divorce. It’s unfortunately as simple as that. By hiring a knowledgeable Illinois divorce attorney, you can ensure that you understand and meet the requirements before filing for divorce, including the waiting period.
Illinois doesn’t have a pre-filing waiting period to get divorced. As long as one spouse lives in Illinois on the date the divorce is filed, the only other requirement is that at least one spouse has lived in the state for a minimum of 90 days before the divorce judgment is entered. In other words, you don’t have to live in Illinois for 90 days before filing, but when your divorce is granted, you must have lived here for 90 days. In a way, this is a waiting period if you haven’t lived here for 90 days.
However, suppose neither spouse has lived in Illinois for 90 days before the filing. In that case, it’s possible that your petition could be dismissed on the basis that another state has jurisdiction or that Illinois doesn’t have jurisdiction over both spouses. If either of these might apply to you, it’s a good idea to hire an Illinois divorce lawyer who can help determine your next steps.
Depending on the type of divorce you are seeking, you may or may not have a mandatory waiting period to be granted a divorce. If your divorce begins as an uncontested divorce in Illinois, there is no separation waiting period. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree to the divorce. They also agree on the terms of the divorce, often through the process of negotiation or mediation.
Before 2016, couples could choose various grounds for divorce and were beholden to a two-year or sometimes six-month waiting period before a divorce could be granted. This was true even if both spouses wanted the divorce and agreed on a settlement. Now, as long as both spouses are in agreement about the divorce and their settlement, there is no waiting period.
For couples filing a contested divorce who can’t agree, there is a six-month mandatory waiting period. During these six months, they must be living separate and apart; otherwise, it won’t count. After the waiting period, as long as they can prove they have lived apart, the Illinois family court will grant their divorce decree.
If you feel like divorce waiting periods and requirements are confusing, you’re not alone. At The Goodman Law Firm, our skilled Illinois divorce lawyers help people every day to determine what is required of them to have a successful divorce. We can help you too. All you need to do is contact us today to schedule your divorce case review.
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