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What Are My Obligations During My Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce attorneysA divorce is typically a last resort for a couple who may have tried marriage counseling or therapy in an effort to solve their problems. Illinois recognizes “irreconcilable differences” as the only grounds for divorce, meaning that the marriage is considered beyond repair. While there is no longer a requirement in Illinois for divorcing spouses to live apart, a six-month period of living separately will be taken by the court as proof that there are irreconcilable differences between the parties.

Once the decision to end a matrimonial union has been made, there are legal steps that need to be taken in order to complete the divorce process. Even if a couple works together to come to agreements on financial or child-related issues, there are still obligations each party must meet for the final divorce decree to be issued.  

Divorce Proceedings

Illinois requires residency for a minimum of 90 days before a person can file for divorce. The proceedings are initiated when one spouse (petitioner) files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in his or her county’s court. After the filing, the other spouse (respondent) is served with the petition. The respondent has 30 days to file a response to the petition. If this is not done within the appropriate time period, a judge can enter a default judgment against that spouse. 

After the petition and response are both filed, the “discovery” phase of the divorce will begin. During this part of the process, each spouse must provide all financial information, such as income, assets, and debts. If necessary, each party’s lawyer can use depositions or subpoenas to uncover any hidden assets. Both spouses are obligated to answer truthfully to any questions and to respond to requests for information.

Child-Related Concerns

If a couple has children, there are other steps that must be taken to finalize the divorce. The parents must create a parenting plan and submit it to the court within 120 days after the divorce petition was filed. If they cannot come to a resolution or agreement on certain matters, such as the allocation of parental responsibility or child support, the judge may order mediation. Typically, the costs of a mediator will be split between the spouses, unless a judge decides that one party should pay a larger percentage of these expenses.

In Illinois, parents of minor children whose case involves parental responsibilities and parenting time must complete a parent education program. The class teaches parents practical ways to help their children during the divorce. The class must be completed within 60 days after first meeting with the judge. The class is available in-person and online, and the parents will receive a certificate of completion once it is finished.

Every divorce is different, and in some cases, requests for “temporary relief” can be issued depending on the circumstances. Orders may include directives related to any marital issues, including children’s school or extracurricular expenses, living arrangements until the marital home is sold, and other considerations. Temporary orders must be followed until the final divorce decree is issued.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

A divorce can be a complex process, even if it is amicable. It is important to understand the steps you need to take to finalize the divorce decree. At Anderson and Associates, P.C., our skilled legal team is knowledgeable in all issues relating to the dissolution of marriage. Our experienced Wheaton divorce attorneys can guide you through the necessary legal steps to complete your divorce so you can move on with your life. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation, call our office today at 630-653-9400.




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Chicago, Illinois 60602
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