Even an uncontested divorce, one of the quickest and least stressful ways to get divorced, carries challenges and emotional exhaustion with it. When spouses choose to work together and are amicable in their split, negotiations can still become contentious because each party has a lot to lose. A compassionate and experienced Bloomington divorce attorney can help spouses efficiently navigate an uncontested divorce and reach a fair conclusion.
An uncontested divorce must still resolve the main issues of a divorce, including property division and spousal maintenance. If spouses have children, their separation agreement must also include a parenting plan for child custody and determine child support.
What makes an uncontested divorce different from a contested divorce is that spouses are working cooperatively and mostly agree on how these issues should be resolved. If spouses cannot reach an agreement, the divorce may become contested and move to litigation. Contested divorces can take months to years to resolve, all while couples deal with court and attorney costs. Working with an attorney during an uncontested divorce could help avoid court proceedings.
Benefits of Working With an Attorney
An uncontested divorce may be managed through negotiation, divorce mediation, collaborative divorce, or other methods. When you work with a lawyer for your uncontested divorce, there are several benefits, including:
- Creating a Fair and Legal Separation Agreement
An experienced attorney will know how to properly draft a separation agreement and will know what included information is required based on state and local laws. An attorney can inform you of potential issues throughout the negotiation process and review the agreement prior to submitting it to the court.
Minor legal and contract law mistakes could result in a separation agreement being unnecessarily held up in court. If the agreement is not considered fair to a spouse or not in a child’s interests, the court will not approve it. An attorney will know these and other requirements and could catch them before the agreement goes to court. This can speed up processing time, prevent spouses from needing to remake an agreement, and make a divorce more efficient.
- Effective Negotiation Skills
In an uncontested divorce, both spouses must be willing to work together to find compromises for all divorce aspects. Even when spouses are trying to work together, they can have different wishes or ideas about what is right for their entire family’s well-being. This can result in contentious discussions. An attorney can help parties effectively mediate or negotiate their divorce and may be able to prevent conflict from escalating.
Due to the extensive experience of divorce attorneys with divorce negotiations, they likely have creative solutions to issues spouses are negotiating and can help resolve these discussions. This can also help the process go more quickly.
- Defend Your Rights and Interests
When you and your spouse are working together, it is likely neither of you thinks your rights and financial interests need protecting. Unfortunately, even when spouses are negotiating and creating an agreement in good faith, mistakes could result in uneven asset division or unfair spousal maintenance. If the court does not realize that the agreement is financially unfair, one spouse may be left with much fewer resources and be unable to support themselves after a divorce.
By working with an attorney, there will be a legal professional by your side or mediating between you and your spouses. This set of eyes on the agreement can help prevent you from overlooking essential property or debt and forgetting to consider tax implications or other essential aspects of the agreement.
Q: Do I Need a Lawyer for an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois?
A: You are not required to have an attorney represent you or mediate discussions in an uncontested divorce. However, there are several benefits to it, including defending your rights and saving you time and money by reviewing a separation agreement before it is submitted to determine if it is legal and likely to be considered fair by a judge.
An attorney is also beneficial when negotiating a separation agreement, as they may be able to offer solutions to problems in discussions and keep the conversation on track. This can make an uncontested divorce go much more quickly.
Q: How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost in Illinois?
A: There are many factors that impact the cost of an uncontested divorce. The filing fee for a divorce varies based on the county and may be between $300 to $400. This fee could be waived if you cannot pay it. Uncontested divorces can also be more expensive if you hire legal counsel, although there are several benefits, including long-term financial benefits, to working with an attorney.
An attorney’s fees depend on the complexity of your divorce case, their own policies, their location, and their experience level. Attorney rates for an uncontested divorce are typically much lower than contested divorce rates but may still be from $2,000 to $6,000 or more.
Q: How Fast Is an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois?
A: An uncontested divorce is one of the fastest ways to obtain a divorce and takes only as long as the waiting period and the amount of time it takes a couple to create a separation agreement. For couples without children getting an uncontested divorce, there is a waiting period of 10 days. For couples with children, the waiting period for an uncontested divorce is 90 days. In some situations, if both spouses agree, these waiting periods can be waived. Then, the divorce can be finalized once a separation is approved by the court.
Q: What Are the Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois?
A: In order for a couple to obtain an uncontested divorce, they must agree on the major aspects of their separation agreement or be willing to negotiate them, and they must meet the state’s residency requirements. In Illinois, the residency requirements are that one spouse has lived in and is a legal resident in the state for a minimum of 90 days, and one or both spouses are a resident of the county they are filing in.
Helping Your Divorce Go Smoothly
At Stange Law Firm, our compassionate attorneys want to help you and your spouse navigate your uncontested divorce as efficiently as possible. Contact our team today to learn what options are available to you to negotiate your separation agreement.