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When can my divorce be a joint simplified dissolution?

Not all Illinois divorces are contentious and complicated with emotional issues causing discord between the parties. In certain cases, the couple can resolve their issues without rancor and simply part ways and move on with their lives. Those whose circumstances are such that amicable resolutions are possible should understand what is necessary under state law to have a joint simplified dissolution of marriage. There are conditions that must be met for a joint simplified dissolution.

Neither of the people in the marriage must be dependent on the other for support. If one is dependent on the other for support, the supported spouse must be willing to waive that right. One of the parties must meet the residency requirements or the military presence requirement. There must be proof of irreconcilable differences. The relationship must not have produced children either naturally born or adopted while they were married and the wife cannot be currently pregnant and know she is currently pregnant by the husband.

Neither of the parties can have an interest in real property or retirement benefits unless those retirement benefits are in an individual retirement account. The value of the accounts when combined must be lower than $10,000. The parties must waive any right to receive spousal maintenance. When marital property is assessed, its value after the deduction of all debts must be less than $50,000. The income of the parties must be less than $60,000. Neither can have a gross annual income that surpasses $30,000.

The parties must disclose all assets and liability with tax returns for the entire duration of their marriage. They must have a written agreement that divides all assets that are worth more than $100. Debts and liabilities must be allocated between them. There must be a written agreement that allocates ownership of pets - called a "companion animal" - that the parties owned. If it is a service animal, this is not included in the law.

A divorce with the parties in agreement about most issues and meeting the financial, property and other requirements can benefit from a joint simplified dissolution. It can save time and money. Before using this option, it is important to have a grasp of the law, the criteria and to be protected. A legal professional who understands divorce settlements can help with all types of divorces from the amicable to the difficult. This is the first call that anyone getting a divorce should make.

Source: ilga.gov, "Joint Simplified Dissolution Procedure -- Sec. 452. Petition.," accessed on Jan. 28, 2018

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