State of illinois pro-se divorce
The site also provides a free form library that offers easy form programs to fill out the forms or download a blank form and use a pen. Need legal answers? Legal Answers is a secure website where low-income people can get free advice about their civil legal problems.
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Answer a few questions to see if you qualify here. The Illinois Supreme Court has set out a formal process for the development, review and approval of standardized forms in areas of law and practice where there is a high volume of self-represented litigants. The forms are more user-friendly and required to be accepted by all courts in the state.
Below are interactive forms that can be completed, printed for scanning or saved, and electronically filed, by attorneys or self-represented litigants to streamline the judicial process. In Illinois, spouses can satisfy the requirement of living separate and apart even if they are still living under the same roof, provided that they essentially inhabit separate areas of the household. The separation period can begin even if the spouses are still sharing financial obligations, and it can continue even if they go through efforts to reconcile, such as attending marriage counseling together, during the separation period.
Whether or not fault would be relevant in a child custody or visitation matter would depend on the exact nature of the fault. If you believe there may be a benefit to choosing a fault ground in your case, contact an attorney for advice. The person seeking the divorce the "petitioner" or "plaintiff" files a document called a "Petition for Dissolution of Marriage" in the domestic relations division of the circuit court located in the county in which at least one of the spouses lives.
The Petition includes basic information about current living arrangements, the grounds for the divorce, and any children of the marriage.
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The petitioner must serve the Petition on the other spouse the "respondent" or "defendant" , along with a required Summons. There is a very wide range in how long a divorce can take to complete in Illinois. The main factor will be whether your divorce is uncontested or contested.
If you and your spouse have reached agreement on everything in your case, you could complete an uncontested divorce in as little as a month. Cases with many contested issues, on the other hand, can take up to two years, or occasionally even longer.
You will have to pay fees to file the Petition in court and serve it on your spouse. Contact your local circuit court to get an exact statement of the current filing and service fees. Fees for attorneys, mediators, and any experts you may need in your case are unpredictable due to wide variations in rates and time required. Generally speaking, if your case is simple, and you and your spouse can resolve your issues with little difficulty, costs will be lower.
If your case is complex or you have trouble reaching agreements, it could become very expensive. If you and your spouse qualify for this procedure, you can contact your local court for the appropriate forms.
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You cannot request alimony or spousal support if you file a joint simplified petition. If you and your spouse agree to an uncontested divorce and enter into a Marital Settlement Agreement MSA , you can resolve your case with a simple court appearance known as a "prove-up" hearing. Your attorney will ask you a few basic questions about the contents of your Petition and will ask you to summarize the terms of your MSA for the court record.
Your lawyer will be allowed to lead you through this step by step so that is not an intimidating experience. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site.
How to File for No Fault Divorce in Illinois - State Requirements and Documents
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