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How Long Does It Take To Get Divorce in Illinois

How Long Does It Take To Get Divorced in Illinois?

Divorce is a complex and emotionally challenging process that varies from state to state. If you are considering getting a divorce in Illinois, you may be wondering how long the process will take. While it is difficult to provide an exact answer, as every divorce case is unique, there are certain factors that can influence the timeline. In this article, we will explore the divorce process in Illinois and provide insights into the average time it may take to finalize a divorce. We will also address some frequently asked questions related to divorce in Illinois.

Understanding the Divorce Process in Illinois

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, which means that neither party is required to prove that the other spouse is at fault for the marriage breakdown. Instead, the only grounds for divorce in Illinois is irreconcilable differences, which have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This approach simplifies the divorce process and focuses on the resolution of key issues such as property division, child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance.

To initiate the divorce process, either spouse must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the appropriate circuit court. After filing, the petitioner must serve the other spouse with a copy of the petition, giving them an opportunity to respond. If both spouses can reach an agreement on all relevant issues, they can submit a Marital Settlement Agreement to the court for approval. However, if disagreements persist, the case may proceed to mediation or court hearings, where a judge will make decisions on unresolved matters.

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Factors Affecting the Duration of a Divorce in Illinois

Several factors can influence the time it takes to get divorced in Illinois. These include:

1. Residency Requirement: To file for divorce in Illinois, either spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least 90 days.

2. Waiting Period: Illinois has a mandatory waiting period of six months from the date the divorce petition is filed until the divorce can be finalized. This waiting period allows couples to consider reconciliation or negotiate a settlement.

3. Complexity of Issues: The more complex the issues involved in a divorce, such as substantial assets, business interests, or disputes over child custody, the longer the process is likely to take.

4. Dispute Resolution Methods: If spouses are unwilling to compromise or reach a settlement through mediation, the case may go to trial, which can significantly extend the duration of the divorce process.

5. Court Docket: The availability of court resources and the caseload of the judge assigned to the case can also impact the timeline. Courts often have a backlog of cases, which can result in delays.

Average Timeframe for Divorce in Illinois

While it is challenging to provide an exact timeframe for divorce in Illinois, the average uncontested divorce typically takes between three to nine months to finalize. Uncontested divorces occur when both parties can agree on all relevant issues, including property division, child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance. An uncontested divorce is generally faster and less expensive than a contested divorce.

On the other hand, contested divorces, where spouses cannot agree on certain matters, can take significantly longer, sometimes more than a year or even several years. The duration of a contested divorce depends on the complexity of the issues involved, the willingness of both parties to negotiate, and the court’s availability.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce in Illinois

Q: Can I get a divorce in Illinois if my spouse does not live in the state?

A: Yes, as long as you meet the residency requirement of living in Illinois for at least 90 days, you can file for divorce even if your spouse resides in another state.

Q: Is mediation required in Illinois divorces?

A: While mediation is not mandatory in Illinois, it is encouraged. Mediation provides an opportunity for spouses to work together to reach a mutually agreeable settlement, which can help expedite the divorce process.

Q: How is property divided in an Illinois divorce?

A: Illinois follows the principle of equitable distribution, which means that marital property is divided fairly and equitably, though not necessarily equally. Factors considered include each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, the length of the marriage, and the economic circumstances of each party.

Q: Can I change my name during the divorce process?

A: Yes, you can request a name change as part of the divorce proceedings. This is typically done by including a request in the divorce petition.

Q: How long do I have to wait to remarry after getting divorced in Illinois?

A: There is no waiting period to remarry after a divorce is finalized in Illinois.


While the duration of a divorce in Illinois can vary widely depending on the unique circumstances of each case, it is essential to be prepared for a process that typically takes several months. By understanding the divorce process in Illinois, seeking professional guidance, and being open to negotiation and compromise, you can navigate the complexities of divorce more effectively and hopefully reach a resolution that meets your needs.

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