Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long does it take to get divorced in Illinois?
There is no clear cut answer to that question. It depends on where you live, with the more populated counties such as Cook and Lake taking longer because there are so many more people seeking divorce.
It can take longer to obtain a dissolution of marriage or divorce if the parties have many issues that they do not agree upon and go to court to resolve them. The more issues that the parties can agree upon, the faster the divorce process will go.
2. How much will it cost to get divorced in Illinois?
Again, there is no clear-cut answer to that question. There are mandatory court filing fees that are determined by the County in which you will be getting divorced.
Most attorneys charge an hourly fee for services and expect a retainer representing several hours of time before beginning representation. When there are a few hours left on the retainer, a client will be expected to make another payment.
The fewer the areas of disagreement between the parties, the less time it will take to complete the process, with the result that it will cost less to get divorced.
3. What is mediation and how does it differ from traditional divorce?
In traditional divorce, each party has an attorney to represent his or her own interests. After the case has been commenced, the attorneys will communicate their clients position to each other. When there are disagreements that can not be resolved, the parties will seek court intervention to obtain the Judge’s ruling. This may happen many times before the Court grants a Judgment of dissolution of marriage.
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method in which the parties select a neutral party, or mediator to help them resolve their issues. The parties meet with the mediator to identify, discuss and resolve their differences. It is a more informal way to resolve conflict, allows the parties to work out their issues in a way that is best for them moving forward, and is often more economical.
There is a third way that people get divorced. In collaborative law, each party has an attorney. They meet as a team to settle outstanding issues in a cooperative and collaborative way. If necessary, the parties agree to hire other experts to assist, such as financial or child representatives.
4. What is joint custody?
Joint custody provides the parents of a minor child with the rights to make decisions regarding health, education and other matters. It does not have anything to do with the amount of time each parent spends with a child. If there is disagreement between the parties and one parent is seeking sole custody, the Courts will look at several factors to determine what is in the child’s “best interest.”
5. How much child support will my spouse have to pay?
In Illinois there are statutory guidelines for child support, In general, if there is one (1) child, support will be twenty percent (20%) of the net income, for two (2) children, the amount is twenty eight (28%), for three (3) children the amount is thirty two (32%). Each situation is unique. There are also provisions in the law for changing the amount of child support one if obligated to pay or what to do if a parent is not make child support payments.
6. Will I get alimony?
Alimony is referred to as maintenance in Illinois. There are several statutory guidelines that are taken into account in order to determine what is “fair and equitable” to the parties. These include, but are not limited to the length of the marriage, the age, health and ability of the parties to earn a living and if one spouse gave up a career to stay home.
We are able to meet with you to provide a detailed explanation of how these matters apply to your specific situation