For many people, divorce is a worst-case scenario experience. After all, no one gets married hoping that their marriage will end suddenly. When confronted with the reality that divorce is imminent, you can choose to indulge in your worst impulses, or you can decide to take the high road.

Working together for an amicable divorce can be a best-case scenario for couples, especially if they share children. Illinois does not require grounds for a divorce, which means that neither of you has to place blame on the other as part of your divorce proceedings. You have the option of working together with your ex to file an uncontested divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.

How is an uncontested divorce different from a litigated divorce?

Quite a few people think that all divorces must go through the court system. While it is true that the Illinois family courts do have to review and approve the terms you set in your uncontested divorce, the law does not mandate litigation.

In an uncontested divorce, you can set your own terms, and the courts review and finalize those terms. In a contested divorce, where spouses cannot agree on the specifics for the dissolution of their marriage, a family law judge will review your family’s circumstances and eventually make a determination regarding how they want to allocate parental rights and responsibilities and how they want to split up your marital assets.

Why might you want to file an uncontested divorce?

Too many people have this mistaken idea that divorce is a winner-take-all situation. However, the reality of divorce is far more boring than that. Each spouse will likely receive a reasonable portion of the marital debt. The more contested the proceedings become, the longer the divorce may take. In other words, a litigated divorce is typically more expensive than an uncontested divorce.

Additionally, if you share children, an uncontested divorce can take a lot of the stress and anger out of the divorce process, which could make everything a little bit easier for your children. Finally, you and your ex will have more control over the specific terms for co-parenting and who retains the family home. This can drastically cut down on the amount of upheaval the children experience as part of a divorce.