Sometimes the hardest part about getting a divorce is deciding, once and for all, whether you want to leave or stay. It is an intensely personal decision, and one that only you can make–but once you have made the final call, it is time to move forward with the official process. How long it takes to get divorced will depend on your unique circumstances; for some couples, it takes several months and for others it can take upwards of two years. Regardless of how long it takes, before you get started, here are some questions to ask yourself.
Are You Eligible to File For Divorce in Illinois?
Before anyone can file for divorce in Illinois, they must be a resident of the state. If you have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days (including military members, who must be stationed in Illinois for 90 days), you can file for divorce in the county where you and your spouse reside. In some cases, such as when you and your spouse lived in a county for your whole marriage but recently moved, you may be able to file for divorce in that county rather than the one in which you currently live.
Do You Want a Divorce or a Legal Separation?
Depending on your situation and your goals, you may want to file for a legal separation instead of divorce. Many of the issues are the same–both processes settle marital assets and make child custody arrangements–but a divorce permanently ends the relationship while a legal separation does not. Some people choose legal separation for religious reasons or because they are not sure whether they want to completely end the marriage.
Where Should I File the Petition?
The first official step in getting divorced is to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with your county circuit court. If you and your spouse have already agreed about all the issues in your divorce, you can file for an uncontested divorce and request a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, as well as the other relevant paperwork.
Am I Ready for the Discovery Phase?
If you and your spouse will have a contested divorce, the first major phase of the divorce will be the “discovery” period. During this time, both spouses’ attorneys will give and request information so they have everything they need to negotiate the divorce’s terms. This primarily includes financial information, but can also include details about the children’s arrangements, medical histories, criminal records, and so on. Although your attorney will help you with discovery, you can make the process faster by having documents prepared ahead of time.
Call an Experienced Hinsdale Divorce Lawyer
Getting divorced is never easy, but with the help of a skilled and assertive DuPage County divorce attorney with Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, divorce can be manageable. We work hard on behalf of our clients to maximize their opportunities and set them up for a favorable outcome. Call us today at 630-920-8855 to schedule your free and confidential consultation.