Family Law Attorney Belleville, Illinois

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce

Answers you can trust from a Belleville, IL divorce attorney

Do you have a question about your divorce? Not sure who to ask for accurate information? Get the facts you need so you can make smart decisions about your future. Talk to an experienced Belleville, Illinois divorce lawyer at Courtney Clark Law, P.C. We can help you every step of the way.

What is your question?

Experience matters when it comes to choosing the right divorce lawyer. That's why people throughout southern Illinois select our law firm to represent them. We know the law and understand the implications of important legal decisions people often need to make during the divorce process.

Below, you'll find some of the most frequently asked questions about divorce. These questions and answers are provided to give you a general idea of what to expect when filing for divorce. The issues facing each couple during their divorce are unique.  That's why we encourage you to contact us and discuss your specific issues and goals. We offer a free case evaluation. Get through this difficult time with good counsel on your side.

How much does it cost to get divorced in Illinois?

The filing cost for divorces in Illinois varies by county but the average is around $300. Fees can vary depending on what type of divorce you're seeking, whether the divorce is contested or many other issues that can arise during the process.

Beyond the filing fees, the financial impact of filing for divorce can vary widely depending on your situation. Our attorneys pay close attention to the costs associated with filing for divorce. We're constantly seeking the most cost-effective way to help you achieve your goals and move forward with your life.

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How long does it take to get divorced in Illinois?

The amount of time it takes to finalize a divorce in Illinois can vary from couple to couple. At minimum, divorces take about 30 days to be finalized, but that timeline can vary depending on many different issues, including whether the divorce is contested and whether there are any disputes involving alimony, child support, division of assets and other financial-related matters. It's not uncommon for couples with complex family and financial situations to take years to finalize their divorces.

Our law firm has a well-earned reputation in southern Illinois for resolving all aspects of divorce in a fair and equitable manner. We want to help you resolve your situation and move forward with your life as soon as possible, but we also understand that protecting your interests and coming to the best possible resolution can take time. No matter how long your divorce takes to resolve, we'll be with you every step of the way.

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How is property divided during a divorce in Illinois?

In general, couples can decide how to divide their assets if both parties agree. However, if the parties do not agree, the court must determine which assets are considered joint or separate and then come to an equitable division of property.

Determining which assets are co-owned and which assets are individually owned can be more complicated than many people might realize. A divorce lawyer can help resolve such issues so all the assets in question can be divided in a fair and equitable manner.

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Do I have to go to court to get divorced in Illinois?

At the very least, you'll likely need to appear in court during your final hearing to finalize your divorce. Depending on whether your divorce is contested, there may be more court appearances as well.

Whatever the circumstances of your divorce, an attorney at our law firm can be there with you every step of the way during all court appearances. We have been to court thousands of times representing your clients, and we will help you prepare for every hearing at which you need to appear.

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What is the process for getting divorced in Illinois?

There are many steps involved in filing for divorce in Illinois. In general, the process starts with filing a document known as a "Petition for Dissolution of Marriage." As part of the divorce, you will also need to verify that you have been a resident of Illinois for at least 90 days prior to the entry of your divorce judgment. Many other steps are often involved, which are outlined on the page titled: What You Can Expect When Filing For Divorce.

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What is a no-fault divorce?

Illinois is considered a "pure" no-fault state, which means all divorces are no-fault divorces. A no-fault divorce involves the dissolution of a marriage in which neither party is held responsible. To qualify for a no-fault divorce, there has to be an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage due to "irreconcilable differences." That's in contrast to a "fault" divorce that occurs for a cause such as adultery, which existed in Illinois until 2016 and remains an option in some other states.

All states allow couples to file for a no-fault divorce, but the criteria to prove "irreconcilable differences" and get a no-fault divorce vary from state to state. The easiest way to prove irreconcilable differences in Illinois is to live separate and apart for a continuous period of at least six months prior to the date of judgment. At that point, you have what's called "an irrebuttable presumption that the requirement of irreconcilable differences has been met." In layman's terms, that means you can get a divorce, and your spouse can't stop it from happening (though he or she can absolutely still contest the specific terms of the divorce).

If living separately for six months is not feasible, there are other ways to demonstrate irreconcilable differences as well, although those are possible for your spouse or another party to contest. We can help you navigate the process of qualifying for a no-fault divorce.

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What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce means both spouses agree on all issues, including the division of assets, alimony, child custody and child support. In legal terms, an uncontested divorce means that the couple does not have to go to trial in court to resolve their issues, although a hearing is still needed to finalize the divorce.

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What are the tax implications of divorce?

Some people do not consider the tax implications of divorce. That is not a wise decision. If you need to sell assets as part of your divorce, you could end up having to pay certain state or federal taxes. Alimony, child support and other divorce-related payments may also be subject to certain taxes depending on when, where and how such payments were finalized as part of the divorce proceedings. Some alimony payments are deductible. Others are not. An attorney at our law firm can review all the tax implications of your divorce with you in an easy-to-understand, straightforward manner.

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Do I need a lawyer to file for divorce in Illinois?

Technically, you do not need a lawyer to file for divorce in Illinois, but there are many risks to consider before pursuing this path. That's why we offer a free case evaluation at our law firm. This way, you discuss your legal issues and goals with an attorney without worrying about how much it will cost to hire us.

In general, we believe a lawyer can be an important and useful part of the divorce process. We're also aware that most couples want to resolve their divorce-related issues in the most cost-effective and equitable manner. We always consider these issues whenever offering any advice to our clients or potential clients. Simply talk to us and learn more about how we can help you move forward with your life.

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