If it is time to bring your marriage to an end, one of the first considerations you will need to address is how to approach your divorce. In today’s world, there are several options available, and divorcing spouses can choose the option that makes the most sense for their family and financial circumstances.

One of these options is an uncontested divorce.

In an uncontested divorce, both spouses work together to achieve their mutually-desired goal of bringing their marital relationship to an efficient and amicable close. Working with their respective attorneys (to ensure that they are making informed decisions with their long-term needs in mind), the spouses resolve all issues informally so that they can submit a finalized marital settlement agreement and parenting plan to the court for approval. Once the court approves, their divorce is over, and they can begin the process of moving on with their post-divorce lives.

10 Questions: Is an Uncontested Divorce Right for You?

So, is an uncontested divorce right for you? If you answer “Yes” to each of the following 10 questions, then an uncontested divorce could be your best option:

1. Are You Both Ready to End Your Marriage?

The first question is also the most important: Are you and your spouse both ready to end your marriage? If the answer to this question is “No,” then it is fairly unlikely that you will be able to successfully pursue an uncontested divorce. The uncontested divorce process relies on the spouses’ willingness to work together. If your spouse isn’t ready to end your marriage, this is an issue you will need to address before you can consider your options for the rest of the divorce process.

2. Are You In Agreement Regarding Your Major Assets (and Debts)?

In Illinois, divorcing spouses must divide their marital assets equitably. To pursue an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse will need to be able to agree on the division of your marital property. If you are already in agreement on how to handle your major assets (like your family home and vehicles) and major debts (like your mortgage and auto loans), this is a good start, and this should set the stage for amicable negotiations the rest of the way.

3. Are You In Agreement Regarding Alimony?

Illinois law establishes four types of alimony, and it also establishes guidelines for calculating alimony awards. While you and your spouse don’t need to be in complete agreement on the precise amount and duration of alimony just yet (your lawyer will assist with these calculations), it is important that you are both generally in agreement regarding who—if anyone—will pay.

4. Are You In Agreement Regarding Child Support?

If you and your spouse have minor children, you will need to calculate child support as part of your uncontested divorce. Compared to calculating alimony, calculating child support is relatively straightforward, and you can use Illinois’ Child Support Estimator to get an idea of how much you (or your spouse) will have to pay.

5. Do You Share Common Goals Regarding Parenting Time?

Under Illinois law, divorcing parents must establish a parenting time plan that focuses on their children’s best interests. When pursuing an uncontested divorce, divorcing parents should familiarize themselves with Illinois’s “best interests” factors, and they should have similar ideas for how they want to structure their post-divorce parenting time and child-related rights and responsibilities.

6. If You Have Any Major Differences, Are You Both Committed to Resolving Them Amicably?

One important thing to understand about the uncontested divorce process is that you and your spouse don’t need to be in complete agreement before you start the process. In fact, it is generally expected that this won’t be the case.

But, it is also expected that you and your spouse will both be committed to resolving your differences amicably. This is one of the hallmarks of the uncontested divorce process. To seek an uncontested divorce, you don’t need to be in agreement on everything, but you do need to be prepared to approach all areas of disagreement with an open mind.

7. Are You (and Your Spouse) Prepared to Compromise When Warranted?

Resolving differences amicably during an uncontested divorce inherently involves compromise. For the process to be successful, both spouses must come to the table with an understanding that they will need to compromise in order to move forward. If either you or your spouse is unwilling to consider reasonable solutions when your desires overlap, then the uncontested divorce process simply will not work.

8. Are You Confident that You Have All of the Information You Need?

To make informed decisions during your divorce, you need to ensure that you have all relevant information. This includes information about all income sources, your current assets, and your financial needs after your divorce.

9. Have You Researched Your Divorce-Related Options?

Making informed decisions also requires a thorough understanding of your options. This applies to all aspects of the process, from dividing your marital assets to dividing parenting time. Our Illinois Family Law & Divorce Blog contains a wealth of information for spouses who are contemplating divorce.

10. Are You Prepared to Work with Your Uncontested Divorce Lawyer To Protect Your Best Interests?

Even when pursuing an uncontested divorce, it is still important to stay focused on protecting your best interests. You should not compromise unnecessarily, and you should not be willing to give up your rights simply for the sake of getting through the process as quickly as possible. When you hire a uncontested divorce lawyer to represent you, your lawyer will advise you with your best interests in mind, and you will need to be prepared to consider your lawyer’s advice and work with your lawyer to steer your divorce toward a mutually agreeable and mutually beneficial resolution.

Discuss Your Options with Gurnee, IL Divorce Attorney Deanna J. Bowen

Are you interested in pursuing an uncontested divorce? If so, we invite you to contact us for more information. To schedule a free initial consultation with Gurnee, IL divorce attorney Deanna J. Bowen, please call 847-623-4002 or request an appointment online today.