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Is a joint dissolution of marriage the same as a divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2023 | Divorce, Uncontested Divorce |

A joint simplified dissolution of marriage is similar to an uncontested divorce, where both spouses must agree on everything. When completed, they both serve to permanently dissolve the marriage. However, a joint simplified dissolution of marriage has forms that are easy to fill out, and there are fewer of them to complete. Only one court appearance with both parties attending is required, making it quicker as well.

Filing for a joint simplified divorce generally involves three steps:

  1. Complete and file the forms and schedule your final hearing.
  2. Divide all property and debt according to the paperwork that has been submitted.
  3. Attend your final hearing. Unless the judge has a problem with the asset or liability division, they will issue a final judgment of dissolution or divorce.

Requirements for a joint simplified divorce

There are several requirements for a joint simplified divorce that all couples should review before considering this option:

  • The length of the marriage cannot exceed eight years.
  • The couple does not have children together, either biological or adopted.
  • At least one member of the couple must meet residency requirements.
  • The parties must have lived six months apart or waived the need to live separately.
  • Each person should be able to support themself without relying on the other for financial support.
  • Neither party will claim any right to spousal support or alimony.
  • Neither party can own any real estate or share retirement accounts. Individual retirement accounts must have a value of under $10,000 combined.
  • Net marital property must be under $50,000, and gross income must be under $30,000 each.
  • All assets and liabilities must be disclosed, and a mutual agreement must be prepared to divide all assets and debt.
  • Ownership of mutually owned pets must be determined.

Do you need an attorney to file a joint simplified divorce in Illinois?

You are not required to use an attorney to file for a joint simplified divorce, but you must understand the procedure and access the required forms to file yourself as outlined above. If, however, you do not meet all the qualifications for obtaining a joint simplified divorce, you may still be able to file for an uncontested divorce. As long as both parties agree on the division of assets, spousal support, and child support and custody, you should be able to proceed with the divorce without any restrictions as to assets, income, or dependent children.