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Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce lawyersWe always hear about the divorce cases that take months and years to settle. However, for every celebrated knock-down, drag-out fight in divorce court, there are countless couples that handle things quickly and quietly. If you and your spouse have no issues to hash out, there is a way to obtain a divorce with minimal fuss. However, ensuring you have everything you need can still be a complex task.

Uncontested Divorce in Illinois

Illinois has provisions for both contested and uncontested divorce. The latter simply means that you and your spouse do not have outstanding disagreements about any major issues in your divorce (maintenance, parental responsibilities, division of property, etc.). If you disagree on even one of these points, your divorce becomes “contested,” because a court proceeding is necessary to hammer out an agreement. A court appearance is necessary in an uncontested divorce as well, but it is merely a formality before a Judgment of Divorce can be entered.

Uncontested divorces are expedited by the courts because there is, in actuality, very little work for the court to do. The difficult part will have been concluded already by the parties and their attorneys - reaching an agreement. The court must review the agreement to ensure that it conforms to Illinois law and is not unduly unfair to one party, but if it meets these criteria, the judge will sign the agreement and it will serve as your final Judgment of Divorce.

Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

While an uncontested divorce is a fairly streamlined process, Illinois does recognize an even quicker procedure for a small minority of couples who qualify. A Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (JSD) is for couples who meet certain criteria, including the following:

  • Must have been married for eight years or less;
  • Must have no children and the wife must not be pregnant;
  • Neither party may own any interest in real property;
  • Must have combined assets worth less than $10,000; and
  • Certain other restrictions apply on the amount of combined annual income and distribution of property.

If these criteria are met, the rest of the process unfolds in a similar fashion to a standard uncontested divorce, except that it goes much faster. JSDs can be completed in as little as a few weeks, while even standard uncontested divorces can take as long as six months. However, as evidenced by the list of criteria, it is not a good fit for everyone and is not available in many cases.

Still, if you and your spouse have a serviceable working relationship and meet the requirements, a JSD may be the best option as it limits the amount of time and trouble you will both have to spend. When two parties simply want to move on with life, a joint simplified dissolution will make that much easier to do.

Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney

Even with an uncontested or simplified divorce, concerns can pile up, and mistakes can happen. Having a skilled legal professional on your team can streamline the process and take much of the intimidation factor out of dealing with courts and legal details. Contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney to get the guidance you need. Call 630-352-2240 for a confidential consultation.


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