Whether an Illinois divorce is contested and battled out in court or settled through mediation and arbitration can determine how long it will last. It will usually take one month to file the paperwork. In the event that the parties involved are unable to amicably resolve issues on asset and property division and child support, these issues will be deliberated in court. Generally, it will take at least a year for the divorce to be finalized. In Illinois, there are four ways to get divorced and each option has its own standard duration.

Joint Simplified Divorce. This type of divorce is available only to couples who have no children and have been married for less than eight (8) years. Also, couples that qualify earn less than $35,000 a year combined. They must not own any type of real estate and have assets valued at less than $10,000. The dissolution of marriages that meet these qualifications, and in which divorcing couples are able to agree on a settlement, can be filed and finalized as soon as the court is able to schedule you in.

Uncontested Divorce. If your marriage does not meet the requirements of a joint simplified divorce, but you and your spouse have agreed on a settlement and your spouse signs an entry of appearance, the court will be able to finalize your divorce as soon as you are scheduled in. This is because an entry of appearance cuts out the 30 day time period mandated by the court for their response.

Collaborative Divorce. If a divorcing couple wants to agree on a settlement and needs legal and professional supervision to do so, a collaborative divorce could resolve the issues. In this type of divorce, attorneys, financial analysts, and custody advisors will help you and your spouse with the decision-making process that will result in the best possible outcome for everyone. The duration of a collaborative divorce will depend a lot on the time it takes to reach a settlement.

Contested Divorce. In the event that you and your spouse cannot reach a fair and mutually satisfying settlement agreement, the longest and generally most costly option you have is to settle the dispute in court. Contested divorce usually takes eighteen (18) months to settle and a year to be finalized. Because the process is adversarial or combative, it will take months with the proceedings going back and forth before any progress is observed.

For any type of divorce, it would be best to first consult an experienced divorce or family law attorney to help you understand the legal process. Having an attorney will protect you and help you understand your rights during your divorce. Get started today by scheduling your consultation.