Many people dread divorce as a complicated or expensive process that involves lawyers and months of conflict. While many divorces require more complicated unwinding to ensure that both parties receive a fair outcome, Illinois law also allows for a simpler method of divorce. This method of divorce, known as a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, is a quicker way to get a divorce, provided that a couple meets certain qualifying standards. Importantly, proceeding through this simplified process for a divorce, rather than through the ordinary channels, waives many legal rights, so it is important for people considering this divorce process to consult with family law attorneys to learn about all of their options and the rights that they are sacrificing in exchange for this speedy resolution.
Qualifying for Joint Simplified Divorce
Qualifying for a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, also referred to as a Joint Simplified Divorce, requires a couple to meet numerous standards. In order to qualify for such a resolution, a couple must:
- Not have been married for more than eight years;
- Have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days
- Have lived apart for at least six months before filing the petition;
- Not own a house together;
- Not have any biological children together, nor must they be expecting any biological children, nor must the couple have adopted any children together during the marriage
- Be divorcing due to irreconcilable differences causing a breakdown in their marriage;
- Not have more than $10,000 in marital property
- Not make more than $35,000 together or $20,000 individually;
- Sacrifice the right to spousal support, also known as alimony. This means that neither spouse would be eligible for support from the other if they go through the Joint Simplified process;
- Have disclosed all their assets as well as all tax returns for each year they were married; and
- Have come to an agreement regarding the division of all property in excess of $100, including all the marital debts of the parties.
In the event that a couple files for this Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, the court will quickly handle their petition and grant them a divorce after both spouses appear in court and testify to the nature of the divorce. However, to do this, the court must ensure that the dissolution is not “unconscionable.” An unconscionable arrangement would be one that is manifestly unfair to one of the spouses, such as one that provides one spouse with none of the marital property.
If you are considering a quick divorce, contact an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer today. Our firm's experienced professionals can help you understand whether you qualify and the rights that you would waive if you chose to pursue a quick divorce.