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Some divorces go faster than others

Photo of Karen Lavin


Normally, when Illinoisans read about divorce or talk to their friends and family about it, a common refrain is that the process is long, messy and expensive. Often that sentiment is correct. Many divorces center on couples who can no longer work constructively together to sort through difficult issues like alimony, child custody and property division. That makes sense. After all, the inability to function together is a typical symptom of a couple seeking to part ways. But not every divorce has to crawl forward, racking up fees along the way.

An alternative to a traditional divorce is an abbreviated divorce sometimes known as a summary or simplified divorce or dissolution. Unlike a traditional divorce, a summary divorce moves quickly. There is less paperwork to file, less court appearances to make and less time from start to finish. These are usually all good things.

But not every divorce qualifies for this speedier process. It is limited to situations conducive to a less-involved process. Some factors include the length of the marriage, whether the couple has kids and how much assets they have. The shorter the term of the marriage, the less kids and the fewer the assets, the more likely an Illinois couple qualifies for the expedited process.

Despite the benefits for a quicker divorce, Illinoisans should not leap before looking. Choosing speed for the sake of speed could have unwanted consequences. As a result, it is important to assess the costs and benefits of a traditional divorce versus a simplified one before pulling the trigger on one process over the other.

To learn more about each process and which one might be best for them, Illinoisans may benefit from discussing their situation with an experienced family-law attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Eligibility for 'Summary' Divorce/Dissolution," Accessed Sept. 14, 2015

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