Uncontested Divorce in Belleville, Illinois With Children

June 28, 2024

Divorce is never easy, but it can be made smoother and less stressful with an uncontested divorce. This is especially important when children are involved, as it minimizes conflict and promotes stability for them. But is an uncontested divorce actually possible if you and your spouse have children? In Belleville, Illinois, the answer is yes – with careful planning and some important considerations, you can get an uncontested divorce with children.

 

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

 

An uncontested divorce means you and your spouse agree on all the major issues of your separation. In Illinois, this primarily includes:

 

  • Division of marital property: Everything acquired during the marriage must be split, including homes, vehicles, savings accounts, and debts. Everyone has stuff and stuff is another word for marital property.

 

  • Division of Parenting Time and Parenting Decisions (Custody & Visitation): This covers where the children will primarily live and how decision-making authority is shared. This used to be called custody and visitation

 

  • Child support: Illinois has specific guidelines to determine how much financial support each parent contributes to the children’s well-being.
    Spousal support (alimony or maintenance): Not always applicable, but if relevant, the amount and duration must be agreed upon.

 

If you can reach a mutual agreement with your spouse on all of these points, you’re well on your way to an uncontested divorce.

 

Why Choose an Uncontested Divorce with Children?

 

  1. Reduced conflict: Arguing in court can be incredibly damaging to children caught in the middle. An uncontested divorce allows you to create solutions together that put your children’s well-being first.
  2. Parental control: You have more say over the outcome of custody, support, and visitation, rather than leaving it entirely to a judge’s decision. Do you want a person who has never met your children defining your summer vacations or how you spend Christmas?
  3. Speed and cost: Uncontested divorces are generally faster and significantly cheaper than contested divorces that involve lawyers battling it out in court.

 

Challenges to Consider

While uncontested divorce is ideal, reaching an agreement with your spouse on sensitive matters like parenting can be incredibly difficult. Emotions run high, and it’s easy for disagreements to derail the process. Consider:

  • Mediation: A neutral mediator can facilitate communication and help you find compromises. This is often cheaper. You can take used your mediated agreement as the basis for your parenting plan

 

  • Attorney Fees: Even with an amicable split, it’s wise to have an attorney draft your paperwork to ensure your interests and your children’s rights are protected. If I draft it, I also take the time to go over it with you, make sure you understand the paperwork and do the e-filing.

 

  • Flexibility: Children’s needs change. Be prepared to revisit your parenting plan over time and make adjustments as life circumstances shift. Or, you could have a professionally drafted parenting plan that addresses changes and that helps you be flexible.

 

Is an Uncontested Divorce Right for You?

 

The decision is ultimately personal. If you and your spouse are committed to working together, prioritizing your children’s best interests, and willing to compromise, an uncontested divorce can save you time, money, and emotional heartache. However, if there are unresolved power imbalances, abuse dynamics, or inability to communicate respectfully, a contested divorce may be necessary.

 

I Can Help

As an experienced divorce attorney in Belleville, Illinois, I’ve guided many parents through the process of uncontested divorce. I understand the complexities, especially with children involved. If you’re considering this path, please reach out. I can provide clarity, help you draft the necessary documents, and ensure a smooth, legally sound process.

 

Remember, while divorce is difficult, the way you handle it impacts your family for years to come. Choosing a less adversarial path, whenever possible, is often the best decision for everyone involved.

Disclaimer: This post provides general info, but every situation is unique. Don’t hesitate to seek out professional guidance.