Almost by its very essence, obtaining a divorce is a contested issue, thus very few people qualify for Simplified Divorce Proceedings. I often get calls from people who want a “quick divorce” or they “had a friend who got a divorce just by filling out some paperwork”. In effect what these people are really asking is: am I a candidate for an uncontested divorce? Yes; in Illinois if you qualify for a simplified dissolution, it can be much quicker than obtaining a traditional divorce. And yes, it is relatively easy and requires mostly just filling out some forms and filing them with the court. That being said, most of the people who contact me are not eligible for a simplified dissolution.
If any of the following apply to you or your spouse, then you are NOT eligible for a simplified dissolution proceeding and should consult a lawyer to determine the best course of action in your impending divorce:
- You and your spouse have been married longer than 8 years;
- During the course of the marriage either you or your spouse: adopted a child; gave birth to any child; or you or your spouse is currently pregnant;
- The parties’ income is greater than $35,000.
This list in not all inclusive but just highlights the most common factors that make most couples ineligible for simplified dissolution proceedings. If you answered no to any of these, a simplified dissolution may still not be the best solution for you. It is often better to contact an experienced family law practitioner to discuss your questions or concerns and let them determine the best way to proceed.
Sean Sullivan is a Civil and Family Law Associate at Appelman and Lloyd. If you would like to talk to Sean about a Family Law matter, he can be reached at (630) 717-7801.