If you are facing a divorce, you likely have questions, and one of those questions is how long the process is going to take. While there is not a simple answer to this question because every divorce is different, there are some fundamentals that universally apply and that will help you better understand the probable timeline for your divorce. If you have divorce concerns, consult with an experienced Chicago divorce attorney today.
The Divorce Process
When it comes to divorce, there can be many legal issues to resolve that can impact the length of the process. The most common components of any divorce include:
- Child custody arrangements
- The division of your marital property
- Spousal maintenance (also known as alimony)
- Child support
The timeline for your divorce will generally depend upon how far apart you and your divorcing spouse are on these important topics. If you tend to agree on what your post-divorce arrangements will be, your divorce timeline can be expedited. If you absolutely cannot find a middle ground in one or more of these areas, however, your divorce is likely to take considerably longer, as you’ll typically need to engage in mediation efforts, and possibly take the issues before the court if mediation isn’t successful.
Further, there are situations that tend to complicate matters and to extend the divorce timeline, such as:
- Having high assets
- Having complicated financial portfolios or property
- Owning a family business
Prior to Filing
The State of Illinois – like every state – has time requirements related to filing for divorce. Before you can file your petition, either you or your divorcing spouse must have lived in the state for at least 90 days. This is extended to 180 days if child custody arrangements are involved. Illinois is now a purely no-fault divorce state, and the prior two-year separation period is no longer required for no-fault divorce. If your spouse consents to the divorce, there is no separation period required. If your spouse contests, you must show you have been separated for six months.
Filing for Divorce
Within two weeks of you filing your petition for dissolution of marriage with the circuit court, you will be assigned a case number and will have a judge assigned to your case – and a summons will be issued for your spouse. This process of getting the summons to your spouse can take an additional two to three weeks. Upon receipt of the summons, your spouse has 30 days to indicate whether he or she will be contesting the filing. An uncontested divorce in which you discuss the important decisions between yourselves – with your respective attorneys’ guidance – is the most expedient path forward.
If You Are Considering Divorce, an Experienced Chicago Divorce Attorney Can Help
If you are moving toward divorce, the dedicated divorce attorneys at Arami Law in Chicago are committed to helping you protect your rights and obtain results that work for you and your children. Our experienced legal team is on your side, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today.