How much does an uncontested divorce cost in Illinois? An uncontested divorce can be an amicable way to end a marriage and generally costs much less than a contested divorce. That is because there is no need for a judge to hear arguments, weigh evidence, and render a decision.
When both parties are in general agreement that the marriage must end, an uncontested divorce becomes possible. When both parties agree on basic matters, like property division or child custody, an uncontested divorce is often the preferred way to conclude the marriage. With the help of an Illinois divorce attorney, this type of divorce can be much less expensive than a contested divorce.
How Does an Uncontested Divorce Work?
When your marriage effectively is over, and you want to make it official, an Illinois divorce can help make that happen. If your soon-to-be-former spouse agrees to general terms in advance, it could negate the need for a divorce trial conducted by a judge.
An uncontested divorce requires you and your spouse to agree on the basic division of marital assets, spousal support, and the division of marital debts. If you have children, a shared custody agreement may be discussed as well.
During the uncontested divorce, a mediator is often used to help the divorcing spouses to work out any differences that are typically addressed in divorce court. A mediator is a legal professional who will charge a fee for the services provided. Fortunately, a mediator’s fee is more affordable than the cost of enduring a contested divorce before a judge. When a mediator can help you and your spouse reach agreements on the issues, there is no need for a judge to hear arguments and rule on various divorce matters.
The main difference between a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce is that a contested divorce requires one or more hearings before a judge. The judge weighs the merits of arguments and issues a ruling. When there are no disputes and the major issues are decided, the judge can review the agreements and accompany legal documents and approve an uncontested divorce.
Major Issues to Decide in a Divorce
Any dispute could make it impossible for an uncontested divorce to proceed. Both parties should try to reach an agreement on several major issues when seeking an uncontested divorce. The major issues are those that would significantly affect the standard of living for the divorcing parties and children when applicable.
Major divorce issues include:
- Dividing property, including real estate, investments, and financial accounts.
- Division of debts to determine how much each spouse owes.
- Spousal support, if any, to help maintain respective standards of living.
- Child custody sharing and parental responsibilities when children are involved.
- Each parent’s financial contributions to the children.
The marital property gets divided between you and your spouse. That property includes real estate, vehicles, and furniture. It also includes financial assets, including bank accounts, stock holdings, and retirement accounts.
Anything that you and your spouse acquired while married qualifies as marital property. If you bought a car while married, and the title only lists your name, it still qualifies as marital property that is jointly owned. The same goes for your home or any other real property that you purchased while married.
You might agree to provide support for your spouse after the divorce is granted. If you have children, you will need to reach an agreement on shared custody and any child support that might apply.
Who Can Get an Uncontested Divorce?
Virtually any divorcing spouses who reach reasonable agreements on the many issues that affect a divorce can seek an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce simply means there are no issues to argue about, and both spouses already are ready to agree to the terms of the divorce.
When both spouses want to end the marriage, there is no need for a lengthy divorce battle. With the help of experienced Illinois divorce attorneys, the divorcing spouses can complete the steps needed to obtain an uncontested divorce.
Your attorney can help you to review legal documents and the effect of the agreements reached between you and your spouse. Your attorney knows how to file for divorce in Illinois and can ensure the legal paperwork is completed and submitted correctly. Filing the correct paperwork and paying the fees will enable swift action on the petition for an uncontested divorce.
Why Is an Uncontested Divorce Less Expensive than Other Types of Divorce?
Because there is no need to argue positions in the court and have a judge rule on major issues, an uncontested divorce is relatively inexpensive. Attorney fees and mediator costs generally are the most significant costs. These costs are reduced because the duration of the divorce proceedings is shortened in an uncontested divorce.
Filing a petition for an uncontested divorce is relatively simple to do, and an experienced Illinois divorce attorney can help you to obtain a seamless uncontested divorce. Achieving an amicable divorce can help to make life easier following the divorce by reducing animosity.