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ILLINOIS DIVORCE BASICS AND OVERVIEW
This is a divorce reference guide to understanding divorce in Illinois. Each state has its own requirements, laws, and documentation, so we decided to gather it all in one location to make it easy and quick for you to find the information you need before, during and after your divorce.
Divorce in Illinois Made Easy (See Illinois Divorce Help Center)
- Time Frame: In a no-fault action based on irreconcilable differences, the waiting period is two years, but if both spouses agree, they can waive that so that the divorce finalization happens in six months.
- Where to File: Circuit Court. "In the Circuit court of the ________ Judicial District, ________ County, Illinois." (See Illinois Court Addresses)
- Statute Statutes: Illinois Complied Statutes Annotated 750.
- Name of Action: Dissolution of Marriage.
- Name of Parties: Petitioner, the name of the filing spouse, and respondent, the name of the other spouse.
- No-Fault or Fault and No-Fault Only: No-fault and traditional grounds.
- Primary Documents Filed: Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage. (See IL Forms List With Explanations)
- Physical Separation Required: Yes.
- Separation Time to File: For a no-fault divorce, the spouses must live separately for at least two years and state that irreconcilable differences ended their marriage. The 2 year waiting period can be eliminated by both spouses signing a waiver document to be submitted to the court when filing for the divorce.
- Legal Separation Permitted: A person living separate and apart from his or her spouse may obtain a legal separation.
- Grounds: No-fault: Irreconcilable differences causing the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and reconciliation has failed and future attempt at reconciliation are impractical and the spouses have lived separate and part for two years without cohabitation (the 2 year separation period can be waived by both parties). (See Illinois Laws for Divorce)
- Residency requirement: One spouse must live in Illinois for 90 days, and the case must be filed in the county where either spouse lives.
- Mediation Required: Disputed issues about custody, removal and visitation should be mediated (except if there is domestic violence). Spouses mediating custody issues should not migrate to financial issues. Court rules provide that the mandatory mediation program is limited to non-financial issues.
- Counseling Required: The court or either spouse may request a conciliation conference when it seems there is a chance of reconciliation.
- Parenting Classes Required: Within 60 days after the first meeting with the judge, parents must attend a parenting education class before the court decides a divorce. This class teaches parents ways to avoid hurting their children during the divorce. Both parents take this four-hour class. This can be done at the courthouse or online.
- Filing Fee: Costs vary, with most divorce filing fees ranging between $150 and $300. (See IL Filing Fee Waiver Form)
- Where to File for Child Support: Child support assistance is available by mail at the Division of Child Support Services, 32 West Randolph Street, 10th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601; by fax at: 312-803-0873, or by email at Child Support Services.
- Child Support Guidelines Model: Child support guidelines are statutory, based on a flat percentage of the income model based on net income. The percentage is based on the number of children in the family.
- Property Division: Illinois is an equitable distribution state.
- Appreciation of Separate Property: The appreciation of separate property is separate.
- Attendance at Hearing: Yes. For a standard divorce, the spouse that files goes to a brief hearing to finalize the divorce and the other spouse does not need to come to the hearing.
- Fault Considered in Property Division: No.
- Waiting period after Divorce for Remarriage: None.
- Ways to Serve Spouse: There are four ways to serve: Voluntary acceptance, sheriff's service, service by special process server (must receive court permission), service by publication, and service by special order of the court.
- Learn More About Illinois Divorce.
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