Does Illinois family law allow a joint simplified dissolution?

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2018 | family law |

The prevailing opinion of a divorce is that the couple will be in dispute over every single issue and the case will take extensive time to complete. While that is true in some cases, not all divorces are so acrimonious. Many couples simply determine that their family legal issues cannot be repaired and they are better served to move on. There is no major disagreement and they have decided to part ways as cleanly and quickly as possible. It is in these cases where a joint simplified dissolution might be the preferred option.

There are certain requirements to have a joint simplified dissolution. The parties must stipulate that they are not relying on one other for support. They can also waive the right to receive support. The residency requirement in the state must be met or they must have met the military residence requirement. They must show that they have irreconcilable differences. The couple cannot have children from the relationship, nor can children have been adopted while they were married. The wife cannot be pregnant by the husband at the time.

The marriage cannot have lasted more than eight years. Neither spouse can have interest in real property, nor can they have interest in retirement benefits. Regarding retirement benefits, the exception is if they are held in an IRA and value is less than $10,000. The parties must waive the right to receive maintenance. If there is marital property, the total fair market value must be less than $50,000 after debts have been deducted. The annual income from all sources must be less than $60,000. Neither party can earn more than $30,000 as individuals.

Assets and liabilities must have been disclosed. There must be a written agreement that divides the assets that are worth more than $100 and debts and liabilities must be allocated. They must have a written agreement that allocates ownership of companion animals – pets – that the parties own. A service animal does not fall into this category.

For couples who meet the requirements and simply want to move on with their lives, a joint simplified dissolution is an economical and rapid process where they can end their marriage with limited rancor. For those who would like to consider this alternative, having legal assistance is still important. A family law attorney can help with a joint simplified dissolution or any other family legal issues that arise.