Undoubtedly one of the most common questions people will ask when they are seeking a divorce is how long it will take to finalize a divorce decree. The answer will, of course, vary depending on a number of factors relating to each divorce, so some cases can move relatively quickly while others can see significant delays that will require many months or even years to work out.
Brinkmeier Law, LLC handles all kinds of divorce cases in Illinois that include various sorts of complicating factors, and we know how to help people get the quickest possible resolutions when possible. Our Chicago divorce law firm regularly serves many clients throughout Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, Lake County, and McHenry County.
One spouse needs to have resided in Illinois for at least 30 days before either party can file for divorce, and at least 90 days before a Judgment for divorce can be granted. When a case is going to involve child custody determinations, then the children must have been Illinois residents for at least six months before the Illinois courts have the power to make decisions regarding the children, except for in very specific emergency situations.
In Illinois, there is no longer any “waiting period” (or minimum duration of living separate and apart) that spouses must undergo before a divorce can be granted. Filing a petition for dissolution of marriage can vary depending on the county, but most people receive their case number, name of the presiding judge, and summons within days of hiring the right attorney.
It will usually take a sheriff’s office up to three weeks to serve a spouse, and the spouse will then have 30 days to declare whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. Spouses can also waive the requirement of service, or special process servers can be used to speed up that timeline of getting a spouse served with the initial divorce paperwork. Both spouses will attend in court when a spouse responds, but a judge can set a court date when there is no response within 30 days.
From this point, the time it takes to reach a resolution can vary depending on the type of divorce.
Contested divorces involve spouses disagreeing on issues relating to the divorce, and such cases can take as little as six months to many years. A contested divorce will take longer than any other type of divorce case.
In an uncontested divorce, the spouses are in agreement on most issues in the divorce so there is less disagreement and issues. An uncontested divorce could take as little as a few weeks to a year or more, depending on how many issues the spouses actually agree on.
Joint simplified divorce is only available to spouses who were married less than eight years, had no children born or adopted during the relationship and the wife is not currently pregnant, joint, annual, gross incomes from all sources are less than $35,000, neither spouse has a gross annual income in excess of $20,000, total value of marital property is less than $10,000, and neither spouse owns any real estate. A joint simplified divorce is the fastest way to get a divorce in Illinois, with some courts able to process such cases in as little as one week.
Generally, the same as a contested divorce, mediation will involve a neutral third party known as a mediator assisting the parties in developing a separation agreement. Mediation can last several months or years.
The Illinois Collaborative Process Act (ICPA) under 750 Illinois Compiled Statute (ILCS) § 90/1 defines a collaborative process as being a procedure intended to resolve a collaborative process matter without intervention by a court in which people sign a collaborative process participation agreement and are represented by collaborative process lawyers. The collaborative process will usually be a series of meetings.
Are you wondering how long your divorce is going to take to finalize? Contact Brinkmeier Law, LLC, today to get real answers about how long you can expect your case to take.
Our firm knows people want to reach resolutions quickly and we work tirelessly to help people get the results they are seeking. Call (312) 291-4486 or contact us to arrange a free consultation with our Illinois divorce attorney.