Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Illinois Divorce Petition


Filing Illinois divorce petition is the first step in the divorce process for the people staying in Illinois. A petition for divorce sets the complaints which both the parties have against each other and the issues on which they want to seek the courtís action. The document is also a part of the public record, once divorce is finalized. Therefore, the petition is usually very brief. The person filing the petition is called the petitioner and the other party responding to the petition is called the respondent.

There are certain steps which a couple must take before they get divorced. These steps include fulfilling residential requirements and station the grounds on which they are filing the divorce. In Illinois, divorce can be finalized on either "fault" grounds or "no fault" grounds. Illinois mostly deals with no-fault divorces. For filing divorce on "no fault" grounds, one of the spouses has to mention the "irreconcilable differences" in their marriage. The "fault" grounds for divorce in Illinois are:

  • Adultery
  • Physical cruelty
  • Mental health problem
  • Desertion
  • Drug addiction
  • Impotency
  • Transmission of sexual diseases.

When you decide to file the divorce petition, at least one of the spouses should meet the residency requirement. Either parties must be residing in Illinois for at least 90 days, or should be the member of the armed services in Illinois.

When you decide to file the petition, make sure to mention the temporary orders taken on the issues like alimony, child custody, property division, debt payment, visitation, and child support; and these orders remain in effect until divorce is granted.

Process of Filing Illinois Divorce Petition:

  • File the petition. A divorce petition in Illinois is filed in the local court of the county where either spouse resides. You can get the petition from the courthouse. The petitioner must have the proof of the grounds on which divorce is filed.
  • Along with the petition file, other documents stating you and your spouseís basic information, name and date of birth of children (if any), marriage certificate, and other documents mentioned by the clerk have to be submitted.
  • File one copy of the petition with the court. Pay the necessary filing fees. You can enquire with the clerk about the necessary filing fees. If you are finding it difficult to pay the filing fees, a fee waiver is possible
  • Serve the petition to your spouse. This can be done by visiting the sheriff's office or through a professional process server.
  • Wait for the response. The spouse has 30 days to respond after the petition is served and once the response is received, the divorce proceeds to the scheduled hearing.

In Illinois, there is no waiting period for filing the petition. The court will check all the documents and sign the decree stating that divorce is granted. Illinois divorce petition is the formal document submitted by the spouses requesting for getting divorced. The court will not start divorce process, if divorce petition is not signed by both the parties. In case if your divorce is uncontested that means issues of children are solved, then you can file divorce papers on your own. However, it is advisable to appoint a lawyer for such a legal process, even if divorce is uncontested.


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