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How do I file for a joint simplified dissolution of marriage?

Divorce, being the end of an intimate relationship, may often become complicated. In many cases, the estranged couple may find it best to file for a joint dissolution. It may help all those who can find common ground to negotiate the divorce proceedings.

A joint simplified dissolution of a marriage may be filed by the estranged couple when they cite an irrevocable breakdown of their marriage as the grounds for divorce. The couple also must show that they have tried to resolve the issues and have failed. In the case of a simplified dissolution, one needs to prove that divorce is in the best interest of both parties. The couple must have been separated for six months or more. The estranged couple also must be willing to waive the normally mandatory two-year separation requirement, in lieu of the dissolution of their marriage.

Under Illinois law, the option of joint simplified dissolution is available to all couples who have been married for less than eight years. The option of joint divorce also is available to those couples who have lived in Illinois for 90 days or more. However, the option of simplified divorce is not available to couples who have biological or even adopted children from their marriage. Pregnant couples also may be ineligible to apply for a joint divorce.

The couple may find it beneficial to contact a legal professional in order to fill out all of the appropriate forms for the divorce proceedings to be initiated. The couple also needs to prove that their annual income is less than $35,000. Both spouses must be willing to relinquish their rights to spousal support after divorce. A written agreement must be entered into by both parties that divides up all their assets.

Source: LakeCountyIL.gov, "Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage: Information and Instructions," accessed on Sept. 24, 2014

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