Divorce and Child Custody FAQ
How long will it take to get a divorce?
The quickest you can expect to obtain your divorce is approximately three or four months. If your case is contested (that is, you and your spouse cannot come to agreement on all issues), it may take a year or more to finalize your divorce. These are rough estimates, though. Many factors can cause delays in finalizing your divorce, such as:
- difficulty notifying your spouse about the divorce (for example, because the sheriff or private process server has difficulty delivering the summons and petition to your spouse)
- the vehemence of the spouses’ feelings and their inclination to settle
- whether or not your spouse has decided to take part in the case and fight over issues as to custody, support, division of property
- the court’s calendar, and the other attorney. Your attorney has no control over the other attorney’s schedule and personality. An extremely busy or uncompromising opposing counsel can prolong your divorce, no matter how your attorney proceeds.
By far, the most common factor that prolongs divorce actions are the intensity of the parties’ feelings and the degree to which the parties want to fight. Try not to get your heart set on being divorced by a certain date because divorce can be unpredictable. Instead, focus on working with your attorney to make sure you are taking all the necessary steps.
What constitutes irreconcilable differences?
Many couples that divorce in Illinois claim to have irreconcilable differences. This is the closest thing to a “no fault” divorce. To rely on this ground, the petitioner must tell the court that irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage and that future efforts at reconciliation are impracticable and not in the best interest of your family. Ordinarily, the couple must have been separated for at least two years to claim irreconcilable differences. However, if both spouses sign a waiver, they can file for divorce after only six months of living separately as husband and wife.
How much will it cost?
It is difficult to estimate the total cost of a divorce because of the factors mentioned above. However, if you allow your emotions to take over, the divorce process can be long, drawn out and expensive. Remember, going to trial is almost always more expensive than settling your case.
How much child support can I expect to receive from my spouse if I file for divorce?
Under Illinois law, there are specific guidelines, which are minimums that the court must consider in setting child support. These guidelines range from 20% for one child, 28% for two children, 32% for three children and so forth. If a child has special needs, the court can enter orders specifically for such a child.
If I have been court ordered to pay child support and I lose my job, does my child support automatically cease?
No. It is your responsibility to petition the court to ask for the child support to be reduced, modified or temporarily terminated until such time as you are reemployed.
Can I move from the state of Illinois with my children after a divorce decree has been granted?
In order to move outside of Illinois with your children, you are required to request (by proper petition to the court) removal of the children only if your final divorce papers does not indicate that you have the right to remove your children from the state of Illinois.
For answers to similar questions and more, please contact Allen Gabe Law, P.C. at (847) 241-5000, Ext 121.