Does Illinois make divorcing couples wait?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Property Division on Sunday, March 13, 2016.

Family law is largely left to each individual state to create and amend. Though a lot of things, such as no-fault divorce, are now available in every state, each state has its own procedure and requirements for getting divorced there. It is important that you don’t make a procedural mistake, or else your divorce might get significantly and unnecessarily delayed.

For example, most states have some sort of residency requirement before a couple can get divorced there. In Illinois, state law requires at least one spouse to live in the state for 90 days before he or she can file for divorce.

On the other hand, there is no required waiting period between filing and finalizing the divorce in Illinois. Many state family law systems have a built-in “cooling off” period. For example, in Michigan childless couples must wait 60 days before their divorce can be final, and if they have kids the wait jumps to 180 days, or roughly six months.

Having to wait half a year to get divorced, even with all relevant matters already being settled, might seem confusing and frustrating. What’s the point? An article by WOTV attempts to answer this question.

In the article, an attorney says the primary purpose of the waiting periods is give the spouses time to think about their decision to divorce, and to try to reconcile. It is the state’s way of using its power to try to prevent divorces from happening.

Whether or not you agree with divorce waiting periods, depending on which state you file for divorce in, you may have to go through one.

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