There are many different ways to divorce in Illinois. A family law attorney will recommend which type(s) are best for his or her client’s unique situation. The recommendation is usually based on the reasons behind the divorce, the couple’s willingness to work together, whether children are involved, or whether valuable assets need to be divided.
#1. No-Fault Divorce
In the past, a spouse filing for divorce would need to prove that his or her spouse committed some type of wrongdoing, such as abuse, adultery, or abandonment. As of January 1, 2016, Illinois is a no-fault state for divorce. The only grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences and the minimum time for separation is six months.
Mediation could be an option for couples who want to avoid court but need assistance with arriving at an agreement. A mediator is a neutral third party that helps facilitate communication between the couple to help them work out the sticking issues so that a judge can sign off on their final divorce judgment.
Unlike mediation, arbitration can be used when the couple divorcing has contentious issues that need to be resolved. An arbitrator is a private judge who will consider the facts of both sides and make a ruling just like a court judge would.
#4. Collaborative Divorce
A divorce via collaborative law is becoming a popular alternative to relying on the court to make decisions for a divorcing couple. Both spouses will retain their own attorneys and agree to work together to arrive at an agreement.
#5. Uncontested Divorce
With an uncontested divorce, both spouses will file their own filings with the court and peacefully separate. There is no need for any legal proceedings since both are in agreement to divorce.
#6. Contested Divorce
In a heated divorce, both spouses will retain their separate attorneys and take their argument before the court. This type often involves settlement negotiations, hearings and sometimes, a trial and is common when both spouses have at lot at stake with high considerable assets.
#7. Same-Sex Divorce
With the legalization of same-sex marriage, same-sex couples have the legal right to end their marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships with the same rights as heterosexual couples. This means a divorcing same-sex couple can also choose the type of divorce to pursue.