Marriage has always been a legal relationship in addition to being a personal one. As a result, there are certain requirements involved with the Illinois divorce process just as there were leading up to your wedding day. At one time, you needed to prove that you had grounds for divorce in Illinois as a reason to end the marriage.
Parties had to include allegations regarding adultery, cruelty, abandonment, or other misconduct defined by law. However, changes to the Illinois statute on the dissolution of marriage eliminated the need to have a reason for divorce. Now, you must simply state that irreconcilable differences caused a breakdown of the marital relationship.
While you may not need to allege specific grounds for divorce, there are still requirements to meet and rules to follow. To avoid errors and delays, work with a divorce lawyer in Chicago who will handle the legal details. You should also keep in mind some additional points about the process.
Getting a Divorce in Chicago
Going through a divorce in Chicago can be emotionally taxing and legally challenging, consider the following:
Statutory Requirements for Illinois Divorce
A court must have jurisdiction to hear any criminal or civil case, and jurisdiction over divorce cases is spelled out by statute. A court can only enter a judgment of dissolution when at least one spouse was an Illinois resident or stationed in the state pursuant to being in the armed services.
The resident or military member spouse must have maintained the residence or military assignment for at least 90 days before the entry of the divorce judgment. Generally, a judge cannot enter final judgment for divorce unless there has been consideration of the following, where applicable:
- Allocation of parental responsibilities, i.e., child custody
- Child support
- Property division
Legal Service of Process
Another requirement that is closely related to jurisdiction is the need for the spouse filing for divorce to properly serve the other party, known as the respondent, with notice. Proper notice includes the receipt of a Summons and the petition requesting a divorce. It may seem technical in nature, but service of process is a constitutional issue.
Meaning a party to a legal proceeding is entitled to review the details in the lawsuit, and the divorce paperwork must be served by police or another lawfully designated officer. In practice, legal service of process is often not an obstacle to divorce proceedings. It is possible for the respondent to waive service, so the case can move forward without technicalities.
How Misconduct Could Impact Divorce Proceedings
Though Illinois is a no-fault state for purposes of divorce, some types of misconduct could be a basis for seeking certain action by the court. For instance, if your ex depleted or diverted significant marital assets while engaging in an adulterous relationship, the judge may order property division or alimony to account for such misconduct. When impacts of adultery affect children, you could request restrictions on custody or visitation.
Discuss Specifics with a Divorce Lawyer in Chicago
You may not need grounds for divorce in Illinois, but you will need solid legal representation to assist with property division, spousal support, and issues related to minor children. To learn how our team will support your rights, please contact the proficient Chicago divorce attorney Michael C. Craven. You can call (312) 621-5234 or go online to schedule an initial free consultation with Michael C. Craven today.