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Divorce in Illinois

For many people, the decision to get a divorce is not an easy one. But once you have come to the conclusion that ending your marriage is the best course of action, you usually want to get through the process as quickly as possible. The state of Illinois makes getting a divorce straightforward – especially if you have limited property and no children, and you and your spouse agree upon the need for a divorce. You may even qualify for a divorce without a lawyer. However, the more complications that are present, the more challenging the divorce process becomes. This is why it is always recommended that if you and your spouse are in disagreement about child custody, property division, or other issues, you consider divorce mediation or seek professional legal guidance.

If you are in a position where your divorce will be relatively straightforward, you can easily dissolve your marriage in Illinois. You just have to fill out the proper divorce forms for Illinois with the correct information and submit them to your county clerk. Getting your Illinois divorce papers completed online by CompleteCase.com’s preparation service makes this even easier by ensuring that you have the right forms and that your documents are filled out correctly the first time. See if you qualify for an online divorce.

Illinois Divorce Facts

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the 2011 divorce rate in Illinois was 2.6 for every 1,000 residents. The data provided by the CDC indicates that this is a relatively low rate, compared to many other states, and that the state of Illinois has had a relatively low divorce rate as far back as 1990, the earliest date where data is available from the organization.

Illinois, like many other states, refers to divorce as the “dissolution of marriage”. There are two different types of dissolution available in Illinois, the older fault-based divorce and the more common no-fault. A fault-based divorce requires that one party blame the other for the divorce. In Illinois the grounds for fault include bigamy, impotence, attempting to take the other person's life, abandonment for at least a year, adultery, felony conviction, extreme cruelty, alcohol abuse or drug addiction for at least two years and infecting the other person with an STD.

Typically, most divorcing couples choose the no-fault option. In this case, the couple states that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”.

Illinois requires that the couple getting divorce have lived in the state for 90 days. The only ground for divorce in Illinois is irreconcilable differences.

Illinois Divorce Papers and Forms

The main form required for filing for divorce in Illinois is the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. On this form you will list both your and your spouse's information and the reason for getting a divorce. The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage can be obtained from your county clerk, as well as on certain county websites for Illinois. The Cook County Court website, for instance, offers a range of forms for filing for divorce in that specific county. Keep in mind, you will need to find out exactly what forms your county requires for you to file for divorce. The requirements can vary by county, and you do not want to wind up filling out the wrong forms. Submitting the wrong forms, failing to submit certain forms and filling out forms incorrectly can all result in significant delays or added costs to your divorce.

CompleteCase.com offers you an easy way to know that you are using the right forms for your specific circumstances, and that those forms are filled out accurately. Many people find using online divorce papers from CompleteCase.com much easier than searching through the sometimes confusing court websites. When you want to ensure that your divorce goes as quickly and as cleanly as possible, online divorce documents are often the easiest option.

How to File Divorce Papers in Illinois

When you have completed and printed your online divorce documents, it is now time to make a visit to your county clerk. In most instances, you can find the clerk's office in your local county court, where you can present the completed divorce paperwork. You should bring a payment method that is accepted by the clerk, usually a certified check or cash, to pay your state filing fee.

Keep in mind that if you manage to settle your divorce without going to trial, the state of Illinois will still require you to attend a “prove up” hearing. At this hearing, you will need to explain the need for divorce to the court and produce all supporting documentation. The judge may inquire about how you and your spouse intend to divide your property as well.

When you file with the clerk, he or she will provide you with copies of your divorce papers. You will need to make copies for yourself, both for the prove up hearing and to serve to your spouse if necessary.

How to Serve Divorce Papers in Illinois

The state of Illinois requires that you serve the divorce paperwork to your spouse. There are several methods of serving papers, including hiring a professional process server, hiring the sheriff to serve the papers or publishing a notice of the divorce in the paper.

Most people choose to hire the sheriff to serve the divorce papers, as it is the least expensive option. It may take some time, depending on how busy the sheriff is, but once the papers are served you will receive a document that proves that the papers were served. Present this proof to the county clerk to complete the filing process.

If you need the papers served more quickly, you can hire a private company that specializes in serving papers. It may be more expensive, but likely faster. If you cannot find your spouse for some reason, you also have the option of publishing the divorce information. This option is the most expensive, and therefore only desirable if other options will not work.

Do you qualify for an online divorce?

Do you know the location of your spouse?
Is your spouse in agreement regarding this divorce and willing to sign the divorce papers with you?
Do you and your spouse have any children under the age of 18 from this marriage?