How to Apply for a Fast Divorce in Illinois

By Jane Haskins, Esq.

How to Apply for a Fast Divorce in Illinois

By Jane Haskins, Esq.

If you've been married eight years or less and don't have any children or real estate, you may qualify for a quick divorce in Illinois. Known as a joint simplified divorce, these fast divorces require minimal paperwork. You must file for divorce together with your spouse. A joint simplified divorce can often be final within days, without a lawyer.

how to apply for a fast divorce in Illinois

Who Can Get a Fast, No-Lawyer Divorce in Illinois?

Illinois has a joint simplified divorce procedure for couples who haven't been married long and don't have complicated family and financial situations. To get this fast divorce in Illinois, you and your spouse must agree on how to divide up your property and debts. You must also meet these other criteria:

  • Married eight years or less
  • No children together (and not pregnant or in the process of adopting)
  • Living separately
  • No real estate
  • No joint retirement benefits, and any separate benefits don't total more than $10,000
  • Total value of marital property, minus debts, is less than $50,000
  • You and your spouse don't make more than $30,000 a year each, or $60,000 between the two of you, before taxes
  • You can't ask for alimony, and neither of you can depend on the other for financial support

In addition, you must have lived in the state of Illinois for at least 90 days.

How to Get a Fast Divorce

A joint simplified divorce doesn't require as much paperwork as a regular dissolution of marriage. You can get forms from the circuit court in your county, or you can prepare your Illinois divorce forms online.

In the divorce papers, you'll confirm that you meet the requirements for a fast divorce. You'll also state that you've disclosed financial information to your spouse and shared your tax returns for the years you were married. You and your spouse will apply together if you are asking for a joint simplified divorce.

Submit your forms to the circuit court clerk's office in the county where you or your spouse lives. You must pay a filing fee, which varies by county. If you can't afford the fee, you can apply for a waiver.

The court will schedule a final hearing on your divorce. You'll need to bring an affidavit saying that you and your spouse have divided up all your property according to your written agreement. Both of you must attend the final hearing.

The judge will review your papers and your agreement. If everything is in order, you'll receive a final judgment of dissolution. A fast divorce in Illinois can take less than a week.

What if You Don't Qualify for a Fast Divorce?

If you make too much money, have been married too long, or have children together, you won't be able to use the joint simplified divorce procedure. You'll start your divorce case by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage and serving your spouse with a copy. If either of you asks for child support, alimony, or attorney's fees, you'll each prepare and file a financial affidavit for divorce in Illinois.

If you agree on everything, including child custody, support, and division of property and debts, your divorce can be finalized more quickly than if you go to trial. The complexity of your case and your ability to agree will determine how long it takes to finalize your divorce in Illinois. Your divorce can't be final until you've lived separately for at least six months.

A fast divorce in Illinois makes it easier to put a failed marriage behind you and move on with your life. Even if you don't qualify for a joint simplified divorce, negotiating an agreement with your ex can help you finalize your divorce more quickly.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

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