Geneva Uncontested Divorce Attorney – Kane County Illinois
In Illinois, a divorce case is considered uncontested only if all issues have been resolved between the parties before you go to court, including:
- Grounds for divorce
- Division of all property valued at $100 or more
- Responsibility for marital debts
- Child custody and visitation arrangements
- Child support
- Maintenance (commonly known as alimony), if applicable
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you must have a complete agreement before you contact a divorce lawyer. Your attorney will draft a settlement agreement, and both you and your spouse will have the opportunity to review it. If it turns out that you don’t agree on all of the details, you can discuss the problems and your attorney can revise the agreement.
An uncontested divorce can save you and your spouse time, money and stress. Some of the key benefits include:
- Generally less attorney time required, lowering the cost of your divorce case
- Just one court appearance, versus multiple possible appearances in a contested divorce case
- The option for your spouse to waive service and enter an appearance without the cost or delay of serving a summons
- You’ll know exactly what to expect when you appear in court
Uncontested Divorce Isn’t For Everyone
If there are any unresolved issues in your divorce case, the case is not considered uncontested. This process is available only to couples who are able to agree on every point, from who keeps the car to the visitation schedule. If you’ve agreed on grounds, debts, assets, child custody and visitation but need the judge to decide who keeps the cat, your divorce is not uncontested.
Uncontested Divorce Cases Involving Minor Children
Both Kane County and Kendall County judges require parents who are divorcing to complete court-approved parenting classes before a Judgment of Dissolution is entered. In some cases, the judge may waive this requirement, but it is not automatically waived simply because your divorce is uncontested. In most cases, you should expect to complete parenting classes.
The timeline differs from county to county. Your divorce lawyer will explain the requirements applicable to your case.
If you and your spouse will be sharing custody of minor children, you will also be required to submit a Joint Parenting Agreement.
How Uncontested Divorce Works
Whether your divorce case is contested or uncontested, your divorce lawyer will draft a Petition for Dissolution of marriage.
The court fee for filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is currently $306.90 in Kane County and $225 in Kendall County.
Your spouse will also be required to enter an appearance in the case. In Kane County, the appearance fee is $191.90; in Kendall County, it is $125.
In a contested case, the filing of that Petition kicks off a series of steps, including service of process on your spouse and the scheduling of one or more hearings. In an uncontested divorce case, the process is streamlined.
- Your attorney will draft a Marital Settlement Agreement to accompany or follow the Petition. This document will describe your agreement in detail, including all of the issues described above.
- Your attorney will also draft a number of other documents, including a waiver of service for your spouse, a Joint Parenting Agreement if required and procedural documents such as the proposed Judgment of Dissolution.
- You will review the paperwork, request any necessary changes, and then sign the agreements.
- Your spouse will review the paperwork and, if he or she is satisfied with the terms, sign the agreements.
- Your attorney will schedule a hearing to “prove up” your divorce case.
- You and your spouse will appear at the hearing and testify briefly.
- The judge will review your agreement to ensure that it is fair and legal.
Assuming that there are no issues and the judge approves your agreement, a judgment terminating your marriage will often be entered immediately.
Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage versus Uncontested Divorce
Uncontested divorce should not be confused with Joint Simplified Dissolution, which is a streamlined procedure that allows certain couples in Illinois to obtain a divorce more quickly and easily. However, this simplified process is available only under limited circumstances. For example, Joint Simplified Dissolution is not available to couples who share minor children.
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To learn more about our practice and about how our experienced divorce and family law lawyer can help you, please contact our law firm by e-mail or phone.
- Family Law
- Alimony and Spousal Maintenance
- Business Valuations
- Child Custody, Visitation & Parenting Time
- Child Support
- Civil Union Dissolution / Divorce
- Collaborative Law
- Division of Marital Assets & Debts
- Division of Pension Benefits
- Dissolution of Marriage
- High Asset Divorce
- Mediation & Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Modifications & Enforcement
- Paternity & Adoption
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Uncontested Divorce