Many divorcing couples in Illinois hope to go through with an uncontested divorce to save time, money and stress. However, there are some common misconceptions about who can go through with an uncontested divorce and what it means to contest the separation.
Illinois Legal Aid explains state divorce laws to help you plan your next steps.
An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which both spouses agree — not only to divorce but all of the terms of a divorce. In other words, to contest a divorce is to contest any part of the divorce and not just the separation as a whole.
The components on which you must agree include custody and visitation decisions, child and spousal support, debt and property division and even who keeps the family pet. If you are able to agree on these items, you will probably be able to save time and money that you would spend in court. Even if you do agree on the divorce terms, you will still need to bring the agreement before a judge for approval. As long as there are no glaring issues, and as long as the judge believes you reached the agreement in good faith, he or she will approve it and turn it into a court order.
If you cannot agree on these items at the start, you still may be able to use a legal professional to negotiate these terms outside of court instead of leaving all of these decisions up to a judge. If you can agree on some of these items or all of them, you can bring your agreement before a judge even during a contested divorce and ask him or her to consider these. Even if the court must make decisions for you in other areas, it will most likely approve agreements you have already negotiated if there are no issues with it.