How quickly your divorce is finalized typically depends on whether your divorce is considered a contested or uncontested proceeding. Uncontested divorces are generally resolved faster, since the parties can come to an agreement and avoid the time and expense of litigation.
However, uncontested divorces are not appropriate for spouses who cannot agree on all of the most important aspects of a divorce, including spousal and child support, a parenting plan and custody agreement, and division of the assets and debts.
If you are seeking a divorce and wonder which method of divorce proceedings would be right for you, one of our experienced family law attorneys in the Wheaton area who handles divorce can discuss with you the pros and cons of both contested and uncontested divorce.
What is an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois?
An uncontested divorce is possible when the spouses can amicably come to an agreement without needing to proceed to court. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses make the decisions about the terms of the divorce, rather than the judge deciding – though the judge will still need to sign off on the divorce agreement.
The major benefits of an uncontested divorce are that they are resolved more efficiently and cost-effectively. Even if you need to negotiate some of the terms of the so-called marital settlement agreement that you will file with the court, this will still take fewer hours to complete – and thus cost far less – than would a court proceeding before a judge.
Another benefit of an uncontested divorce is that the non-filing spouse may waive their right to be served divorce papers and notice of the proceedings. Both spouses will still be required to appear in court to finalize the divorce and answer any questions that the court may have regarding the terms of the negotiated agreement, however.
What is a Contested Divorce in Illinois?
While a divorce hearing before a judge may be more expensive and time-consuming, it is necessary when spouses cannot agree on all of the important factors affecting a divorce. Contested divorces can be more emotionally and financially stressful, but the rewards can be great for spouses who are able to ask for what they believe they deserve, in light of their particular circumstances.
For instance, many parents who are awarded primary custody of their children do so in contested divorce proceedings, whereas uncontested divorce proceedings in which the parents fully agree on child custody matters typically involve joint custody arrangements.
Many times, clients believe they want to pursue an uncontested divorce, only to realize later that they are unwilling to compromise on any one area of disagreement, and thus this calls for a contested divorce instead.
Consult an Experienced Divorce Attorney in DuPage County
Your experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer at our firm will be able to discuss with you your goals for the terms of your divorce and determine which type of proceeding will be most advantageous given your situation. Reach out to us today for help.