One of the reasons that there is so much misinformation floating around about divorce is that the exact process and rules governing divorce are different in every state and can even vary from county to county within individual states.
While certain factors are somewhat common, there are many unique considerations for those filing divorce in any specific jurisdiction. Fully understanding how to file for a divorce in Will County, Illinois, can make you feel more confident about what will be a major change to your life.
Establish why you want to divorce and file a petition
The first step you need to take is to determine whether or not you meet the requirements to file for divorce. Individuals can file for divorce if there has been an irreparable breakdown of the marriage and they have lived in the state of Illinois for at least 90 days.
Filing for a divorce based on irreconcilable differences means a no-fault filing, which is all Illinois currently allows. The state does require that you have either separated for at least two years for a one-sided divorce or six months if both of you agree to the divorce. As long as you can claim you have tried to save the marriage but could not do so, you can likely file for divorce based on irreconcilable differences.
Gather financial records and make an asset inventory
Once you know that you can file for divorce and how you intend to do so, you need to start obtaining digital or physical copies of all of your important records. From birth and marriage records to financial documentation related to income and taxes, as well as an inventory of all of your household debts and assets, there will be a lot of information-gathering required at this stage.
That information can help you push for a fair division of assets and ensure you have access to information, as some people will hide or destroy records or even assets when they know a divorce is inevitable.
Wait for a response and prepare for court
Once you file a petition for the dissolution of marriage with the courts in Will County, you will have to serve your spouse with legal notice. Your spouse will have 30 days to respond to your petition. After their response or lack thereof, the courts will allow you to move forward with divorce proceedings by setting an initial court date.
Once the courts give you a date for your hearing, you should begin organizing your evidence and preparing to make your case to the courts regarding your preferences in the divorce.
Uphold or request to modify the final judgment in your divorce
Once the courts issue a judgment of dissolution of marriage, your divorce is officially over. You have an obligation to following the instructions laid out in the final judgment, including paying support or sharing custody of your children.
However, that final judgment could contain terms that don’t accurately reflect your financial or family circumstances. Whether you hope to reduce child support or alimony payments or increase the amount of parenting time do you have, the potential exists to request a modification after the final judgment if necessary.