You can get divorced in Illinois if you meet the legal requirements. You must be a resident of your County for more than 90 days; you have to be separated from your spouse for at least six (6) months, and there must be irreconcilable differences between you and your spouse.
In a divorce case, the marital property and debt must be divided. Also, if there are minor children, the issue of parenting time and visitation must be addressed. Additionally, child support must be determined and contribution for school expenses for the children.
Marital property is property acquired during the marriage by the parties (with some exceptions), such as:
- Personal property
- Bank accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Houses, land
If you and your spouse do not have any property, each keeps their own personal property and each pays his/her own debts.
In more complex cases, the issue of maintenance (formerly known as alimony) may arise if one of the spouses has low income or is unemployed. Please consult an attorney to address this issue.
If you and your spouse are in agreement with the terms of the divorce, you may prepare the documents yourselves and get divorced. If you cannot reach an agreement as to how to divide the property, or cannot agree as to a parenting plan, you should hire a lawyer.
IF THERE ARE NO CHILDREN
If the couple does not have minor children, the parties will need the following documents to get divorced:
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
- Order on Prove up (28 day order)
- Appearance of Respondent
- Certification and Agreement (Stipulation – Uncontested Cause)
- Court Reporter Information Sheet
- Certificate of Dissolution
- Judgment and Marital Settlement Agreement (this document contains the division of property, debts, child support)
- Judge’s Sheet (Uniform Prove Up Sheet)
IF THERE ARE MINOR CHILDREN
If the couple does have minor children, in addition to the above-mentioned documents, the parties will need the following documents to get divorced:
- Allocation of Parental Responsibilities Judgment (this contains the parenting schedule)
- Uniform Order for Support
- Guidelines child support calculations
- Parenting Class (CIBO) Certificate of Completion - Petitioner
- Parenting Class (CIBO) Certificate of Completion – Respondent
If you live in Cook County, you will find the form for a Joint Petition for Simplified Dissolution and instructions, in the following website: https://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/filing-joint-simplified-dissolution-marriagecivil-union
Additional forms may be found at: https://www.cookcountycourt.org/ABOUT-THE-COURT/County-Department/Domestic-Relations-Division/Court-Forms
Once, the documents are properly filled out, you may file them through the following website: https://illinois.tylerhost.net/OfsWeb/ You will also use this website to request the hearing date for the divorce.
In the alternative, if you live in Cook County, you may go in person to file the documents in Room 802 of the Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago, IL 60602, or you may go to any suburban district. You will have to pay filing fees to file the Petition and the Appearance; or you may ask a waiver of the filing fees.
To calculate the child support, you may use the following website: https://cscwebext.hfs.illinois.gov/CscWebEx/app/csc?execution=e1s1 Once you have calculated the child support, you have to include the amount in the Marital Settlement Agreement and the Uniform Order for Support.
To do the Parenting Class, visit the following website: https://online.divorce-education.com/
Once you have obtained a hearing date, you and your spouse must participate in the hearing. After the pandemic, most hearings are being held via Zoom. For contact and Zoom information in Cook County go to the following website: https://www.cookcountycourt.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=sMvknNji4Gs%3d&portalid=0
This information should not be considered as legal advice, it is a brief explanation as to how the divorce process works generally. If you need assistance, you should consult or hire an attorney.