Skip to main content

Do I have to go to court for an Illinois divorce?

Ending a marriage is likely to surface complicated emotions. Not only are you ending your relationship with someone, but your entire life is likely to change as you divide up possessions and embark on a new lifestyle. The last thing most people want is a long and complicated divorce process.

However, there are certain procedures that need to be followed for an Illinois divorce proceeding. Even in a short divorce, you may be required to appear in court before a judge, and your spouse may need to be there. It depends on the circumstances.

To sum it up, there are a lot of gray areas, but that is what we are here for to guide you and coach you along the way. This process can be quick or it can be a long process depending on your circumstances, but here at Diamond Divorce Law in McHenry, IL as attorneys and legal assistants will take care of everything that is needed and work diligently to make the process as easy as possible.

The Illinois divorce process

If you haven’t had a divorce before, then you may not be familiar with the process.

In Illinois, the process to get a divorce is as follows:

  • One spouse must file the divorce petition
  • One or both of the spouses must prove the grounds for divorce is “irreconcilable differences”
  • Both parties must resolve their issues through negotiations, and with advice from lawyers and judges, then come to an agreement.
  • If parties do not come to an agreement, there will be a trial held before a judge.

What are irreconcilable differences?

It is important to note that Illinois is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means Illinois only recognizes one reason as grounds for divorce: irreconcilable differences.

Spouses must prove that future attempts to reconcile their marriage would not be in the “best interest of the family.”

This can be provided by being separated for six months, or sometimes within the same household but still living separately. At times, though, the six month period can be waived.

What is agreement in a divorce case?

When it comes to a divorce in Illinois, “agreement” indicates that both parties are on the same page about the issues related to their divorce. Issues can vary from the division of property to the allocation of parental responsibilities.

Some other examples include:

  • Division of debt
  • Child support, or financial obligations to any potential children
  • Maintenance, also known as alimony or spousal support

Agreement from both parties not only makes a divorce go more quickly, but can prevent you from going to court in front of a judge.

Uncontested divorce vs. contested divorce in Illinois

Agreement from both parties determines whether a divorce is contested or uncontested.

In what is known as an uncontested divorce, both parties agree to the divorce and agree to all issues, such as the division of property.

In a contested divorce, the parties are not able to settle the issues and must appear in court.

There are some counties in Illinois where uncontested divorces can be completed entirely at home, and in only a few hours. McHenry County is one of them.

What is a final divorce hearing?

However, if your divorce was not fully uncontested, then you might need to attend a final divorce hearing. It is the last step in the divorce process, and they commonly occur in front of a judge.

If you are the petitioner, which means the one who filed first and petitioning your spouse for the divorce, you will have to be there in court, but your spouse who will be the respondent, which means the one who is being petitioned for a divorce will not have to be at the final proceeding as long as everything is signed by him or her.

Contact McHenry County Divorce Attorneys Today

Diamond Divorce Law brings not only experience, but also compassion to the table when it comes to your divorce. We understand the process can be difficult, and we’re here to lend a helping hand through it, rather than make things more complicated.

Take the first step toward your new chapter in life. Contact our Illinois-based team of divorce attorneys today.

Skip to content