Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, P.C.

Illinois divorce: simplicity is more complicated than it seems

The current movie version of Anna Karenina is based on a famous Russian with a memorable opening line. Tolstoy began the book by writing that all happy families resemble each other. He added, however, that each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

This may or may not be true - for either happy or unhappy families. And after all, many families are not easily classified as either happy or unhappy.

It is true, however, that sometimes unhappiness leads to a desire for divorce. And when this happens in Illinois, there are a few key points to keep in mind as parties approach the divorce process.

For starters, there are two basic points of departure that help determine how simple or complex the divorce proceedings will be. The first, of course, is whether or not there are any children. The other one is the extent and type of martial property owned by the couple getting divorced.

If there are no children and few assets, it may be possible to use a Joint Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. Keep in mind, however, that the requirements for this procedure are very specific. For example, it isn't only that there are not children. In addition, the wife may not be pregnant by her husband.

Similarly, it isn't only that there are few assets. In order to use the simplified procedure for marriage dissolution, a couple cannot own real estate. That, of course, will exclude couples where home ownership is involved.

We could go on and list several other requirements that limit who may use the simplified procedure. For purposes of this post, the point is, to paraphrase Tolstoy, that each divorce presents its own challenges in its own way.

Source: "The basics of a divorce case," The Madison-St. Clair Record, Rita Novak, 1-7-13

Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our Rockford divorce page.

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