You might be excited about the idea of moving on after an unfulfilling or unhappy marriage but still feel nervous about the idea of going to court. Court can often result in intense arguments between spouses, stress for children and increased expenses.
Some people may even delay filing for divorce because they want to avoid the stress of going to court. If you know that your marriage is not salvageable, you may wonder if it’s possible to end it without going to court.
The courts do need to review and approve divorce requests
Some people point out that while you can get a marriage license and elope in just a few days, it often takes the better part of a year in order to divorce. The reason for the delay is that there is a lot more complication involved in disentangling the lives of two people than there is in joining the lives of two people.
It is not possible to complete a dissolution of a marriage in Illinois without going through the court system, even in cases where the parties are in agreement about everything. The agreement must still be reviewed and approved by the court before a judgment dissolving the marriage is granted. However, just because you need the court to review and approve your divorce settlement does not mean that you have to litigate your divorce. If you and your spouse reach an agreement on the terms of the divorce, either by yourselves, through mediation, or negotiating through attorneys, you can enter into the agreement and present it to the court for approval. It is in cases in which no agreement can be reached by the parties that the courts will have to step in and make decisions about splitting your assets and debts, as well as child custody issues.
Illinois is a no-fault divorce state that allows for uncontested divorces
You do not have to prove fault to get divorced in Illinois. In fact, Illinois only recognizes irreconcilable differences as grounds for granting a dissolution of marriage, this is commonly known as no-fault divorce.
If you and your spouse can agree to your own property division and child custody terms, you may be able to entirely avoid the stress involved in litigating your divorce. Although the courts will still need to review and approve the terms, its role will be to formalize your agreements rather than to set the terms itself.