People in Illinois may confuse a joint simplified divorce with an uncontested divorce, but they are actually not the same thing. If you qualify for a joint simplified divorce, it can expedite the process, but it may not be as simple for you as the name might suggest. Even if you do not qualify for a joint simplified divorce, you may still pursue an uncontested divorce provided that you and your spouse can reach an agreement on divorce issues. There are no special requirements for an uncontested divorce.

According to the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court of Illinois, eligibility requirements for a joint simplified divorce relate to your income, assets and family situation. Here are some of the requirements explained in more detail.

  1. Income

Neither you nor your spouse can make more than $20,000 in gross annual income. Your joint gross annual income must be less than $35,000, including income from all sources. You must each agree to forgo spousal maintenance.

  1. Assets

You and your spouse must disclose all tax returns filed during your marriage and all assets each of you owns. You must own less than $10,000 in marital property. This does not include any encumbrances, i.e., the amount that you still owe on the property.

  1. Residency

Prior to filing for dissolution, at least one of you, either you or your spouse, has to have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days. If both of you lived in Illinois during that time, you meet the requirement.

  1. Family situation

The duration of your marriage must be less than eight years, and you cannot have had or adopted any children together during your marriage. If either you or your spouse are currently pregnant, you do not qualify for a joint simplified divorce. You must have lived apart for at least six months. The marriage must have irretrievably broken down due to irreconcilable differences.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.