- 1 How to Get a Divorce in Illinois
- 2 Valid Grounds to Get Divorce in Illinois
- 3 Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois
- 4 Illinois Divorce Process
- 5 Illinois Family Laws
- 6 Illinois Divorce Papers and Forms
- 7 How to File Divorce Papers in Illinois
- 8 How to Serve Divorce Papers in Illinois
- 9 How to Get a Divorce in Illinois Without a Lawyer
- 10 Illinois Divorce Common Questions
- 10.1 How is property divided in a divorce in Illinois?
- 10.2 How much does a divorce cost in Illinois?
- 10.3 How long does it take to get a divorce in Illinois?
- 10.4 How can I get a copy of my divorce in Illinois?
- 10.5 Do my spouse and I need to live in Illinois to get a divorce?
- 10.6 Can I still get a divorce if my spouse doesn’t want to get one?
How to Get a Divorce in Illinois
Getting a legal separation or divorce in Illinois depends on a wide variety of factors regardless of the legal reasons for divorce. For example, abandonment, child support, and custody can all make a big difference.
If there is a child of the marriage, you will have to submit the Support Obligation Worksheet besides the petition to obtain a decree of dissolution. Continue scrolling to learn more!
Valid Grounds to Get Divorce in Illinois
Gone are the days when divorcing couples have had to prove habitual drunkenness, adultery, or abuse. Spouses have been filing for “no-fault” divorces since 2016. Today, the only legal reason for divorce in Illinois is irreconcilable differences. What does it mean?
To get a granted divorce, either party needs to prove:
- Irretrievable breakdown of marriage occurred as a result of irreconcilable differences.
- Spouses fail to reconcile in the past.
- There’s no chance for future reconciliation and it wouldn’t be good for the family.
Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois
While there’s no “waiting period” for uncontested cases, certain residency requirements must be met when filing for divorce in Illinois. As a matter of fact, one of the divorcing couples must have lived in this state for a minimum of 90 days to get an uncontested divorce.
Illinois Divorce Process
Divorcing couples face lots of stressful events when ending their marriage. From decisions on debts and property to custody and visitation schedules, there are tons of things to deal with. The complicated legal processes only make matters worse. Most spouses have no idea where to begin and what’s ahead of them.
Understanding the legal procedure for divorce beforehand will make it much easier for you to go through a divorce. In this article, you can find everything you need to know before filing for a divorce in Illinois.
If there is no child of the marriage, you will not have to pay divorce-related expenses like child support, custody, and so on. That will make your life a whole lot easier. However, you might be still obligated to pay spousal support or maintenance.
Things get more complicated when there are children of the marriage. These divorce cases include custody, child support, alimony (or spousal support), and much more. To finish up a divorce case that involves minor children, the petitioner needs to submit a child support obligation worksheet as well as related financial papers.
Use the Illinois Maintenance (Alimony) Calculator to get a better idea of your alimony expenses. The alimony expenses depend mostly on the marriage length, the number of dependents, and yearly gross incomes of both spouses.
Illinois Family Laws
Let’s dig a bit further and reveal family law regulations pertaining to custody, spousal support, child support, and other divorce-related matters.
Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony
After a divorce, one party usually pays the other one money every month. That’s something known as maintenance in Illinois. Some call it alimony or spousal support.
The goal of this legal obligation is to give financial support to one of the ex-spouses. Bear in mind that maintenance is not always ordered by the judge.
Custody and Visitation
There are 2 types of custody in Illinois: legal and physical custody. When it comes to legal custody, the parents can make important educational, religious, or medical decisions on their children’s behalf. The parents with physical custody live with their children after a divorce.
Custodial parents are those with primary physical custody, while the other party is termed the noncustodial parent. Sometimes one parent may have both physical and legal custody. The judge will also determine the parenting time (also called visitation) with the children’s best interests in mind.
Gone are the days when flat percentages were used based upon how many children parents have. Under the new state law related to child support, the incomes of both parents are now taken into account when it comes to child support. Use our Child Support Estimator when calculating the support.
Illinois Divorce Papers and Forms
You can find the necessary papers and forms in a local clerk’s office or online. If you choose the second option, you will need at least five days to draw out and prepare all of these documents. Many couples gather papers themselves rather than hiring an attorney.
Take a look below to see which papers you might need to prepare to complete your divorce in Illinois.
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
- Entry of Appearance
- Non-Marital Real Estate
- Parenting Plan
- Certification Agreement
- Letter to the Sheriff
Additional divorce papers include the Domestic Relations Cover Sheet, Affidavit of Service, Visitation Form, and Uniform Order of Support. You may not need some of these papers and forms. It will depend on your specific case and whether or not there are children involved. Check 750 ILCS 5/504, w-4 for more information.
How to File Divorce Papers in Illinois
Now that you know which divorce papers you need to prepare, it is time to check how to file them in Illinois.
File your divorce paperwork
Once you’ve prepared divorce paperwork, you will have to deliver them to a local clerk. The offices of most clerks are positioned within or near the courthouses. When submitting your divorce papers, you will be required to pay a filing fee (from $200 to $330).
It is a good idea to call a court clerk and ask about this fee. You should also learn more about fee waivers beforehand. If the court doesn’t accept personal checks or debit cards, you should consider taking a certified check or cash.
Serve your spouse
You will be supposed to serve copies of your divorce documents to your spouse when ending the marriage. This process involves providing all the necessary divorce papers and forms to the other party.
There are different ways to serve your spouse, including the sheriff’s service, private process server, and non-party service. If your husband/wife is in jail or you cannot find him/her, you will need to look for alternative methods. Ask the court clerk for help.
In many counties across Illinois, both spouses are required to submit a Financial Affidavit when ending their marriage. They need to disclose financial information on their:
- Debts and assets
- Credit card bills
- Income sources
- Mortgage expenses
The judge will decide child and spousal support awards based on financial disclosures. It also plays an important role in dividing marital property. Do not testify falsely or lie to judges about an affidavit unless you want to risk court sanctions.
How to Serve Divorce Papers in Illinois
Divorcing couples usually serve divorce papers by using a sheriff or private process server. Most people prefer hiring a sheriff because it is the most reliable way. Whether you use a process server or sheriff, you’ll have to file a proof of service after delivering divorce papers.
If neither of these options works for you, the court will probably permit you to hire a non-party (must be over 18 years of age) to serve the necessary forms to your spouse.
How to Get a Divorce in Illinois Without a Lawyer
Divorce doesn’t only damage to spouses and their children, but it also drains bank accounts. Even so, couples can save hundreds or thousands of dollars in their process by reaching an agreement and skipping a lawyer.
File Divorce Papers Online
Completing your divorce online through a divorce preparation service can save you a lot of money. This is where CompleteCase comes in!
With the help of this service, you will resolve your divorce case in an economical and accurate way. This innovative website is designed in such a way to let people prepare their divorce papers online. That can help them avoid costly lawyer fees and save time.
Here, you can get online divorce forms and state-specific papers along with simple instructions on how to file your documents. This will ensure that get your case done the right way. Assuming that you and your spouse have agreed on how the child custody, assets and debts will be divided, you need to use completed forms.
After a short interview that will clarify your needs, you will receive customized divorce documents soon. The papers are created based on relevant factors like your state, assets, marital property, and children. Use these completed forms when filing for divorce and save yourself a headache!
Illinois Divorce Common Questions
How is property divided in a divorce in Illinois?
Illinois is an equitable division state, it isn’t one of the community property states. That said, the debts and marital assets are not necessarily divided 50/50. The property is divided equitably in a divorce.
How much does a divorce cost in Illinois?
The cost of divorce is up to $15,000 in the event of simple cases. However, it may climb to $35,000 when the alimony, as child support and custody are involved.
How long does it take to get a divorce in Illinois?
After filing for divorce, it typically takes around 90 days for the court to finalize a divorce. The availability of a judge and the caseload have an impact on the length of the divorce process.
How can I get a copy of my divorce in Illinois?
You need to request a copy of your divorce records in the Circuit Court Clerk’s office in the county in which your divorce/marriage has been granted.
Do my spouse and I need to live in Illinois to get a divorce?
To get divorced in Illinois, either your spouse or you must be a resident of this state for a minimum of 90 days before filing for divorce. Divorcing couples don’t have to file divorce papers where they got married.
Can I still get a divorce if my spouse doesn’t want to get one?
Yes, you can. If one party doesn’t want to sign divorce papers, the refusal may turn into a so-called “contested divorce.” The court will require a hearing to determine the reason for the refusal in that case. You will eventually get a divorce if the other party (your spouse) doesn’t show for the court hearing.