PWL Info

A new beginning for you and moving on beyond a painful past.

In the state of Illinois, the law requires that a couple petitioning for the dissolution of their marriage live separate and apart for a period of two years. However, by agreement of the parties, this period may be shortened to a period of six months.

Uncontested Divorces: In an uncontested divorce, both sides agree on the divorce, division of marital property, and child custody and visitation issues, if any. Uncontested divorce is the way most people divorce. It’s simple and inexpensive, and it offers you and your spouse the chance to end your marriage quietly and with dignity. The most apparent advantage of uncontested divorce, of course, is its cost. With the exception of the pro se divorce, an uncontested divorce that stays uncontested divorce is almost always the least expensive way of getting divorced.

I’m a big believer in finding the least expensive way to divorce. The simple fact is that any money you can avoid spending on people like me is money you can use to live on after divorce or spend on your kids.

The low cost is not, however, the only advantage of uncontested divorce. If the level of conflict between the two of you is low now, uncontested divorce offers a way to keep it that way. It’s also private. The agreements the two of you reach in an uncontested divorce and file with the court will of course be a matter of public record, but the disclosures you make to each other don’t have to be. Nor do the various proposals you discuss as you negotiate an agreement that’s acceptable to both of you.

I don’t think you have to agree with each other about the issues of your divorce for an uncontested divorce to be right for you. It’s not so much a question of agreement as it is your desire to get through your divorce, and a practical sense on the part of both of you that you want to minimize the cost badly enough to stop fighting, stay in control, and end your marriage.

If you and your spouse don’t yet agree on all the issues of your divorce, that just means you may have some negotiating to do before you finish it. If neither of you gets rattled nor gets in a hurry, you’ll probably be able to get through it.

An uncontested divorce requires the following documents: a State Certificate of Dissolution & Invalidity of Marriage; a Domestic Relations Division Cover Sheet; a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage; the Respondent’s Appearance; and a Certification and Agreement by Counsel, verifying that there are no contested issues.