How to Obtain an Uncontested Divorce in Belleville, St. Clair County, Edwardsville, Madison County, Illinois.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is when a married couple wishes to get divorced and there are no issues in dispute or being contested by either party.
What Occurs with Respect to an Uncontested Divorce?
The parties indicate to an attorney, or to each of their attorneys, the terms and conditions upon which they will agree to an uncontested divorce. That may include, but may not be limited to, their agreement in regard to custody, visitation, child support, division of property, including any real estate, vehicles, household furnishings, pension and/or retirement benefits, bank accounts, investments, etc.
Can Both Parties Use the Same Attorney?
Both parties should not use the same attorney, even in an uncontested divorce proceeding. This can be handled in a number of ways. First, each side could use their own separate attorney even in an uncontested divorce. This may be the preferable way of handling the matter since even in an uncontested divorce each side may wish to have the benefit of their own counsel. Second, if each side does not have their own separate attorney, then an attorney could represent one (1) party with the other party appearing and proceeding pro se, or on their own, not represented by counsel. However, this can be problematic and it would be better if each side, even in an uncontested divorce, had their own separate counsel.
What Pleadings should be Prepared in an Uncontested Divorce Case?
At a minimum, there probably should be a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage filed by the Petitioner, an Entry of Appearance filed by the Respondent, a Marital Settlement Agreement agreed to and signed by the parties and a proposed Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage approved by the parties, to be entered by the Court. Each page of the proposed Marital Settlement Agreement should be reviewed and initialed by each party and the Marital Settlement Agreement should be signed by each party and notarized. The proposed Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage should be initialed by each party with an identical specimen original being presented to the Court for entry.
What if Either Party Changes Their Mind After the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage has Been Entered in an Uncontested Divorce proceeding?
It is generally too late once the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage is entered, subject to certain exceptions. For example, if there was mutual mistake then a Motion to Set Aside the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage should be filed within thirty (30) days from the date of entry. However, this could result in litigation if both parties are not in agreement that the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage should be set aside. The litigation could include the non-moving party seeking enforcement of the Marital Settlement Agreement, not to mention the possibility of requesting attorneys fees and costs from the other side.
When is an Uncontested Divorce Over in the State of Illinois?
An uncontested divorce, just like any divorce, is over once the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage is entered. On the other hand, each party has thirty (30) days to file a Motion to Reconsider and/or attempt to Set Aside the Judgment from the date the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage was entered, if there is a legal basis for doing so.
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