Am I Eligible for a Joint Simplified Divorce?
By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC
When spouses want a cost-efficient and quick divorce, they often look for options to speed up the divorce process. If you run internet searches for “fast divorce” or “quick divorce in Chicago,” you will likely find information about uncontested divorce proceedings and joint simplified divorces.
To have an uncontested divorce, you do not need to meet any eligibility requirements other than the residency requirements for any divorce in Illinois under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), and the requirement that you and your spouse have reached an agreement about all issues or disputes arising out of the divorce. Many couples that begin with a contested divorce — where spouses do not agree on one or more issues — ultimately can have an uncontested divorce with the help of family mediation or negotiation techniques.
However, joint simplified divorce is something much different. It is still a way of getting divorce, but there are many different eligibility requirements you must meet, and most spouses likely will not be eligible for a joint simplified divorce. The following are just some of the questions you should ask yourself to determine your eligibility for a joint simplified divorce.
Do You Have Children from Your Marriage?
If you have children from the marriage, either adopted or biological, or if a spouse is currently pregnant, the parties are ineligible for a joint simplified divorce.
Does Either Spouse Have an Interest in Real Property?
You cannot own any interest in real property. In other words, if you and your spouse bought a house, you cannot get a joint simplified divorce.
Do You Have Retirement Accounts Worth $10,000 or More?
If either spouse has a retirement account (or more than one retirement account), those combined accounts cannot be worth $10,000 or more if the parties want a joint simplified divorce.
Is Either Spouse Dependent on the Other for Support?
If either spouse is currently dependent upon the other for support, a joint simplified divorce is not possible.
Do You Own Marital Assets Worth $50,000 or More?
Any marriage where the parties have assets with a fair market value of $50,000 cannot result in a joint simplified divorce.
Is Either Party Seeking Spousal Maintenance?
Neither party can seek spousal maintenance in a joint simplified divorce. In fact, to be eligible for a joint simplified divorce, both parties must have an agreement that neither will seek maintenance.
Have You Been Married for More Than 8 Years?
To be eligible for a joint simplified divorce, you cannot have been married for more than eight (8) years.
Seek Advice from a Divorce Attorney in the Chicago area
Even if you are not able to have a joint simplified divorce, your case may still move along quickly with an uncontested divorce. Whether you think you may be eligible for a joint simplified divorce or you need assistance with your divorce case, an experienced Chicago divorce attorney at our firm is here to help. Contact Gordon & Perlut, LLC today to speak with one of the experienced family lawyers at our firm and to learn more about how we regularly assist clients in Chicago.