Is there a difference between a simple divorce and no contested or uncontested one?

August 11, 2021

The short answer is no. In Illinois, “simple” and “uncontested” divorces are essentially the same thing. Let’s break down what that means and how it might apply to your situation.

What’s Changed in Illinois Divorce Law


When I first started practicing law, there were many reasons (or “grounds”) for divorce in Illinois. Today, there’s only one: irreconcilable differences. This means something went wrong, and the marriage is over.

So, How Long Do You Have to Be Separated?


There’s no set time frame for separation in Illinois. Even sleeping in separate rooms is living apart. The true question is when did your marriage finally break down? It could be long before someone moved out or even talked about divorce.

Does Infidelity Matter?


No. Cheating does not impact the division of assets or whether spousal support (formerly called alimony) is awarded. Illinois Courts are focused on creating a fair outcome, not punishing one spouse.

However, if there’s a prenuptial agreement or the cheating spouse is living with a new partner, those factors could affect the outcome, particularly regarding spousal maintenance.

What Makes a Divorce “Simple” or “Uncontested”?

A simple (or uncontested) divorce is one where both spouses agree on all the terms:

  • Division of assets (property, savings, retirement)
  • Allocation of debts
  • Parenting time arrangements (if applicable)
  • Child support (if applicable)

Surprisingly, about 35% of divorcing couples in Illinois fall into this category. If this sounds like your situation, you could be headed for a smoother, less stressful divorce.

Ready for a Simpler Divorce in Illinois?

I help couples navigate uncontested divorces efficiently and affordably. If you and your spouse are ready to move forward amicably, call my office at 618-726-2671 or reach out through my website for a free consultation.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is general and should not be construed as legal, medical, or financial advice.