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Uncontested Divorce Attorneys in Chicago
It’s common for a divorce to be a painful experience to go through. The desire to limit the time and expense associated with the divorce process in Illinois is understandable. If the couples is communicative enough to negotiate with each other–at least through their lawyers–they may be able to resolve the issues involved in a settlement without litigation. This is what’s called an uncontested divorce in Chicago.
A Chicago uncontested divorce lawyer from Arami Law will work with you on the issues that need to be resolved so it can stand up in a Cook County divorce court. Call the office at (312) 584-6355 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
Issues to Be Resolved in an Uncontested Divorce
The settlement areas to be addressed include the following:
Each spouse may have come into the marriage with assets–e.g., cash, investments, real estate, and heirlooms. Those assets are considered their separate property. The assets the couple acquired after marriage are considered marital property. Separate property simply returns, in its entirety, to the spouse who owned it. Marital property must be equitably divided between the spouses.
This might seem simple enough in theory, but it can be very thorny in practice. If one spouse had what became the family home prior to the marriage, it’s separate property. But any improvements or expansions that were made might be marital property. The 401(k) a spouse brought with them into marriage is separate property. Presuming they stayed at the same job and the account kept growing, the accumulation that took place after marriage would be marital property.
These are just two examples of potentially difficult issues that must be worked out in a settlement agreement. Furthermore, the debt a couple has is subject to the same process–determining if it is jointly shared or the sole possession of one party.
Spousal maintenance is the legal term for what many people simply refer to as “alimony”. A fair spousal maintenance agreement involves considering the sacrifices one spouse may have made in their career for the overall benefit of the marriage.
The most common example is the spouse who chooses to give up their job or work part-time for the sake of raising children. Other circumstances might be the need to care for elderly parents. If one spouse held back on advancing in their career so the other could undertake an entrepreneurial venture that paid off, it could be a consideration in spousal maintenance.
The basic premise of spousal maintenance is to allow each spouse to live in the same lifestyle they enjoyed during the marriage, at least as far as is reasonably possible. Spousal maintenance is further meant to “level the playing field”, so to speak, on behalf of the spouse who gave up career opportunities. The amount of duration of spousal maintenance is to be impacted by these factors, along with how long the marriage lasted and how long it will take the economically disadvantaged spouse to get back on their feet.
Couples with children must determine where the kids will live and what the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent will be. It’s important to note here that a custody plan that’s approved in court will be extremely detailed. Therefore, to gain legal approval, an uncontested divorce settlement must strive to meet that same level of precision.
For example, a general agreement to “share holidays” is unlikely to pass legal muster. But let’s say the agreement says something to the effect of “Non-custodial spouse gets the kids at noon on December 26 and through the remainder of their winter break, to be returned to their primary residence at 7 PM the night before they return to school.” That’s legal precision and it’s how your uncontested divorce settlement needs to look.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Chicago?
A person can file for divorce in Illinois so long as one spouse has lived in our state for at least 90 days. At that point, the length of the process will depend a lot on how long it takes for the spouses to reach an agreement.
Couples with no children, lower asset levels, and a marriage that is no more than eight years old, can have the option of a joint, simplified dissolution of marriage. This is something that can move through the Cook County system with more speed.
A judge must still sign off any uncontested divorce or simplified dissolution of marriage. It bears noting that as long as your agreement is legally sound, judges are inclined to let spouses work out their own settlements. Your attorney can ensure that your agreement meets the broad framework of what’s required by Illinois divorce law.
Arami Law has been working with clients in the Chicago Metro area and throughout Cook County for over 15 years, helping them craft settlement agreements. We can help you too.
Call the office at (312) 584-6355 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
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