What Chicago Residents Don’t Know about Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested Divorce Mediation

Posted January 30, 2019

Realizing that your marriage is no longer working for you or your spouse is heartbreaking, in most cases, and a difficult situation with which to be faced in almost all cases. Understanding the Chicago divorce mediator laws particular to those who live in Illinois is crucial for the married parties. In many cases, a partner did not see the writing on the wall. Most couples enter into the state of matrimony believing that their union is strong. Very few think it is necessary to know the ins and outs of Illinois divorce legislation. Allow us to assist you with an overview of the Illinois laws concerning an uncontested divorce.

Legal Actions for an Uncontested Divorce in Chicago

Unlike those who live in different states, Chicagoans use the term irreconcilable differences, while other jurisdictions call an uncontested divorce in Chicago” a no-fault divorce. When there is an irretrievable breakdown of a marriage, and the court finds that all efforts at reconciliation have occurred, to no avail, the requirement for irreconcilable differences is established. Additionally, the couple must agree that future attempts at reconciliation are impractical, and not in the best interest of the family.

Other conditions that apply to the uncontested divorce in Chicago” include:

  • When partners live apart and separate for at least six months before they file for divorce, it is assumed that the requirement of irreconcilable differences is in place.
  • A judgment will not take place until the court considers, approves, reserves, or makes provision for the administration of parental duties, the support of any children of the marriage who are entitled to support; the necessary maintenance of either spouse and the disposition of property.
  • The court will enter a judgment, concerning the divorce, that includes the following reservations – 
  1.  Agreements between spouses
  2.  A motion by either party 
  3.  A court finding that the circumstances within the dissolution are appropriate

In Illinois, the process of dissolving a marital union begins with the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, or an appeal for a divorce. Notification arrives for the respondent in the form of a Summons, to which a written response to the court is required. Illinois is a No-Fault divorce state but defines no fault as irreconcilable differences. Usually, No-Fault divorces are less expensive and move through the courts more rapidly. If the dissolution is a contested one, the parties can obtain a divorce if the two live apart with no cohabitation for two years (6 months if neither spouse challenges the dissolution of the marriage). Illinois does not require a waiting period between the filing of a divorce petition and the granting of the divorce. 

Financial Actions for an Uncontested Divorce in Chicago

To ascertain how much the allotment for maintenance for both spouses will be, the court must establish factors which include:

  • The income and property of both parties
  • The requirements of both parties
  • Each party’s present and future earning power
  • Any impairments to future or present earning power (i.e., domestic duties, preceding education, preceding training)
  • Obtaining the necessary time for acquiring education, employment, training, finding a method to support oneself or act as custodian to children (which may stand in the way of seeking employment)
  • The established standard of living during the marriage
  • How many years the spouses were married
  • Each spouses’ age, physical and emotional condition
  • Property division tax outcomes
  • Contributions and services provided by the party seeking maintenance to the training, career, or education of the other spouse
  • Valid agreements between the parties
  • Any other factors found in 750 ILCS 5/504(a)

Illinois courts have a specific formula to determine how much support is required. Permanent maintenance is usually allocated only for marriages of 20 years or more. Unions of a shorter length of time, in most cases, have only temporary maintenance orders, paid in one or more installments. Temporary maintenance can be rehabilitative or reviewable. In many cases, divorces do not include an order of support.

Additional Maintenance Issues for an Uncontested Divorce in Chicago

  1. The receiver of maintenance is the party who pays tax on the support. The maintenance provider may deduct the maintenance from his or her income.
  2. Child support is taxable to the payer.
  3. If a party shows a tangible change in circumstances (i.e., remarriage, change in employment status, etc.), a maintenance award can be modified or removed.
  4. Although the court considers debts from marriage as subject to equitable division, third-party creditors can continue to pursue the former spouses.
  5. The court is required to award the family home, or the privilege to live in the domicile for reasonable periods, to the spouse who has custody of the children.
  6. Retirement assets are considered marital property when contributions were accumulated during the marriage. Division of these assets can be extremely complicated.
  7. In Illinois, child support awards are based on the guidelines created by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS). These guidelines are not applicable when they would be inappropriate for the best interest of the child (i.e., physical and emotional status of the child, a change in the standard of living after the uncontested divorce in Chicago”, and other relevant conditions). Additional expenses relating to child support include:
  • Child care expenses
  • Extracurricular activities
  • School expenses
  • The time spent with each parent
  • Health care coverage

Split Simple Divorce Mediation

Sometimes, the court system is not the path that divorcing spouses want to take. Here at Split Simple, we understand that mindset. This explanation of the many statutes and legislation involved in divorce proceedings in Chicago are enough to make heads start spinning. We, however, have assisted in numerous divorce procedures, and we have found methods that make uncontested divorce in Chicago” less emotional, less adversarial, and, yes, more civilized.

Here’s what sets us apart:

  • We use a proven, effective process to work through the complex and challenging steps in acquiring a divorce.
  • We offer fixed and transparent pricing
  • Our mission is to create an outcome that is best for you, your spouse, and, of most importantly, your children.
  • Our Chicago divorce mediators are intent on crafting a parenting plan that meets the needs of your family.
  • Another of our goals is to come up with a fair and equitable agreement for you and your spouse.

Contact a Divorce Mediator in Chicago Today!

contact Split Simple today to speak with one of our Chicago divorce mediators, ask questions, and gain the assistance you need in traversing your divorce. We are here ready to serve you.

Split Simple
Two Prudential Plaza
180 North Stetson Avenue #3500
Chicago, IL 60601