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Illinois Divorce Facts and How to Obtain the Assistance of a Skilled Divorce Attorney
If you have considered filing for divorce or legal separation in Illinois, chances are you don’t have all the facts you need to ensure your rights are protected. There are many details involved in the process of dissolving a marriage, and without full knowledge of your rights, you may forsake your benefits and stake in assets that otherwise would have been yours. Even when a couple has agreed by mutual and amicable decision to part ways, proceedings can get tense, and small disagreements can quickly escalate into large disputes. Having an experienced Illinois divorce lawyer working on your case is the best way to ensure your interests are protected and that your case resolves as quickly as possible.
But before filing for divorce in Illinois, there are a few facts every spouse should be aware of. The state has certain requirements that must be fulfilled prior to filing and imposes specific rules when it comes to the distribution of property and assets, alimony payments and child custody arrangements. Below are some useful facts to know prior to filing a divorce petition so you will have knowledge of your rights throughout the case.
Illinois Residency Requirements
A judgment of dissolution of marriage in Illinois will not be granted unless at least one spouse was a resident of the state or was stationed in the state while serving in the armed forces, and the residence or military presence had been maintained for 90 days before filing the petition. If the parties meet the residency requirements, then proceedings shall be held in the county where the plaintiff or defendant resides.
Legal Grounds for Filing Divorce in Illinois
When it comes down to actually filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the plaintiff must declare the grounds on which they are seeking the divorce. There are two ways in which the case can proceed. The plaintiff may either file a no-fault divorce, usually done when the couple can agree on most aspects of the settlement, or a fault-divorce, for which the court will ask the plaintiff to cite a reason for the motion. Illinois recognizes the following grounds for divorce in either type of case:
No-Fault Illinois Divorce:
- Granted after spouses have lived separate and apart for at least 2 years continuously and irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Reconciliation has failed and future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family. The two-year requirement may be waived if the spouses have lived apart continuously for six months and if both spouses waive the right to the waiting period through written stipulation.
Fault Illinois Divorce:
- Defendant had a living spouse at the time of the marriage in question that was not known to the plaintiff
- Willful desertion or abandonment for at least one year
- Habitual drunkenness or drug addiction
- Extreme cruelty
- Felony conviction
- Defendant infected the plaintiff with a sexually transmitted disease
Finding Your Ideal Illinois Divorce Lawyer
If all of these rules and regulations have you confused, don’t worry, you are not alone. With so many details to worry about even prior to filing a divorce case in court, it can be easy to make mistakes. However, having a skilled Illinois divorce lawyer on your side will eliminate all the added stress and confusion. But how exactly do you choose your legal representation? That’s where we come in.