do it yourself illinois divorce

Do-it-yourself (DIY) Illinois divorce is a convenient and cost-effective way to end your marriage. The process involves completing and filing the necessary forms with the court, following certain steps, and obtaining a final divorce decree from the court. Although no attorney is required, it is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney to make sure your rights are protected. With the right information, you can successfully complete a DIY divorce in Illinois.If you are considering filing for a do-it-yourself divorce in Illinois, there are some important things that you need to know. First and foremost, it is important to understand that the process of filing for a divorce without legal assistance is complex and can be time consuming. Make sure that you have ample time to devote to researching the necessary paperwork and filing them correctly. Additionally, it is important to understand that you may need to appear in court if your spouse contests your divorce. To ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible, it is recommended to have a basic understanding of Illinois family law before beginning. Furthermore, make sure that all paperwork is completed accurately and submitted on time. Lastly, be aware of any applicable filing fees or other costs associated with your divorce.

DIY Illinois Divorce

A DIY Illinois Divorce is a legal process whereby a couple can end their marriage without using an attorney or going to court. This type of divorce is often referred to as a “do-it-yourself” divorce, and is becoming increasingly popular among couples who wish to save money on the high cost of hiring a lawyer. The process for obtaining a DIY Illinois Divorce is relatively straightforward. First, both parties must complete the necessary paperwork, which is available online or at the local courthouse. This paperwork must then be filed with the court, and both parties must attend a hearing before the court will grant the divorce. After the hearing, if all goes smoothly, the divorce will be granted and all that remains is for both parties to sign off on it.

The DIY Illinois Divorce process can be complicated and time-consuming, so it’s important that both parties thoroughly understand all of the paperwork and procedures involved before beginning. It’s also important to keep in mind that even though this type of divorce may cost less than hiring an attorney, it does not provide any legal advice or counsel. As such, if there are any issues that need to be addressed during the process, such as child support or alimony payments, it’s important to seek out professional help from an experienced family law attorney in order to ensure all of one’s rights are protected.

How to File For a Do It Yourself Illinois Divorce

Filing for a do-it-yourself (DIY) divorce in Illinois is not as complicated as it may seem. With the right paperwork and instructions, you can easily file for your own divorce with the court. However, it is important to note that there are certain steps that must be taken in order to properly file for a DIY divorce in the state of Illinois. The following steps will help you get started on the process of filing for your own divorce in the state of Illinois.

The first step in filing for a DIY divorce in Illinois is to gather all of the necessary documents and forms required by the court. These documents include marriage certificates, financial statements, and any other relevant papers that will prove your marital status and any other relevant information about your relationship. Once you have all of these documents gathered, you will need to fill out an official “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” form. This form should be filled out completely, including all of the details regarding each spouse’s assets, debts, and any other information that is relevant to the dissolution of marriage case.

Once you have completed this form, it must then be filed with the local court where one or both spouses reside. It is important to note that this filing fee varies from county to county and depending on which county you are filing in, there may be additional requirements or fees associated with filing your case. After all required paperwork has been filed with the court, you will receive a summons from the court informing both parties of their upcoming hearing date and time.

On this date and time specified by the summons, both parties must appear before a judge who will hear both sides of their case before making a final decision on whether or not they will grant an uncontested divorce or not. If no agreement is reached between both parties during this hearing date then another hearing date may be set at another time or place so that further negotiations can take place between both parties until an agreement can be reached. Once an agreement has been reached between both parties then they must submit their finalized divorce decree along with any required financial documentation such as tax returns or bank statements to formally end their marriage legally within the state of Illinois.

Required Documents for Do It Yourself Illinois Divorce

When you are filing for a do-it-yourself divorce in Illinois, there are certain documents that are required to complete the process. These documents vary depending on the type of divorce you are filing and the specific details of your individual situation. It is important to make sure that you have all of the necessary documents before beginning the process.

The most common documents required for a do-it-yourself divorce in Illinois include:

  • A Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage form, which is used to initiate the divorce proceedings.
  • A Marital Settlement Agreement form, which outlines the terms of the divorce settlement.
  • A Financial Disclosure Statement form, which provides financial information about both parties.
  • A Waiver of Service form, which waives any formal service requirements.
  • An Appearance or Waiver of Appearance form, which allows one party to waive their right to appear in court.

In addition to these forms, there may be additional documents required for a do-it-yourself divorce in Illinois, depending on your individual circumstances. This could include a Parenting Plan if there are minor children involved in the divorce or a Qualified Domestic Relations Order if there is a retirement plan or other assets that need to be divided between the parties. If you have any questions about what other documents may be required for your particular situation, it is best to consult an experienced family law attorney who can help guide you through the process and ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed.

Dissolution of Marriage

Dissolution of marriage is the legal term for divorce. It is the process of ending a marriage through a court order. This court order will declare that the marriage is no longer in effect and both parties will be free from all obligations towards each other.


Jurisdiction refers to the legal authority to hear and decide a case. In an Illinois divorce, the jurisdiction must be established in order for the court to have the power to issue an order that legally ends the marriage. The jurisdiction must be established in either Illinois or another state where either party is living at the time of filing.

Property Division

Property division is a process that divides assets and debts between two parties during a divorce. The property is divided according to Illinois state laws, which divide property equitably or fairly between both spouses. This includes marital assets such as real estate, bank accounts, vehicles, furniture, and investments.

Maintenance (Alimony)

Maintenance (alimony) is an amount of money paid by one spouse to the other for support after a divorce. Maintenance payments are typically based on need and ability to pay and may be ordered for either spouse depending on their financial situation.

Child Custody

Child custody refers to decision-making rights regarding children during and after a divorce. In an Illinois divorce, both parents have equal rights regarding custody decisions unless there are special circumstances showing that one parent should have more rights than the other. This includes decisions such as education, health care, religious upbringing, and visitation rights.

Child Support

Child support refers to payments made by one parent to another for support of their children during and after a divorce. These payments are typically based on need and ability to pay and are determined using guidelines set by Illinois law.

Gathering the Necessary Documents

Before filing for an Illinois divorce, it is important to have all the necessary documents and forms available. This includes a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, a Summons, an Acknowledgement and Acceptance of Service, a Case Information Sheet, and a Marital Settlement Agreement. It is also important to have any prenuptial agreements or other documents related to the marriage. Once all of these documents are gathered, it is time to start the process.

Filing the Petition

The first step in filing for an Illinois divorce is to file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This document must be filed with the local county court clerk. The petitioner will need to provide information regarding their name and address, as well as information about their spouse. After filing the petition, it must be served on the respondent (the spouse).

Serving the Respondent

Once the petition has been filed with the court clerk, it must be served on the respondent. The petitioner can choose to serve the respondent personally or by mail using certified mail with return receipt requested. If serving by mail, copies of both documents must be sent together in one envelope and proof of service must be provided to the court.

Filing Proof of Service

Once proof of service has been obtained (e.g., signed return receipt), it needs to be filed with the court clerk along with an Acknowledgement and Acceptance of Service form signed by both parties acknowledging that they have received copies of all documents in this case. The Acknowledgement and Acceptance form must include each party’s full name, address and phone number.

Completing Other Required Forms

Once proof of service has been filed with the court clerk, other required forms must be completed as well. This includes a Case Information Sheet which collects basic information about parties involved in this case such as names, addresses and phone numbers. It also includes questions regarding whether there are any minor children involved in this case or if spousal support needs to be addressed. Additionally, a Marital Settlement Agreement needs to be completed which outlines how assets will be divided between both parties.

Gather All Required Documents

When filing for divorce in Illinois, it is important to have all of the necessary paperwork and documents in order. This includes financial records, such as bank statements, pay stubs, and tax returns. Other important documents include marriage and birth certificates, prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, property deeds, and any other documents related to the marriage. It is also important to make copies of any court documents related to your case before filing. Having all of these documents organized and ready will make the divorce process much easier.

Understand Illinois Divorce Laws

It is important to understand the laws governing divorce in Illinois before beginning the process. This includes understanding residency requirements for filing for a divorce in the state, grounds for divorce, alimony eligibility requirements, division of property laws, and child custody laws. Knowing these laws can help ensure that you are making decisions that are in line with state law.

Create a Divorce Plan

Creating a plan before beginning the divorce process can help ensure that you have thought through all of the important decisions ahead of time. This includes decisions regarding child custody arrangements, division of assets and debts, alimony payments (if applicable), and any other issues related to your divorce. By having a plan in place prior to filing for divorce you can avoid potential complications during the process.

Hire an Experienced Attorney

Although it is possible to file for a DIY (do-it-yourself) divorce in Illinois, it is generally advisable to hire an experienced attorney who can help guide you through the process. An attorney will be able to provide advice on how best to proceed with your divorce case as well as represent you in court if necessary. It is also important to note that many courts require both parties in a divorce case to be represented by an attorney.

Be Prepared for Mediation or Court Hearings

Depending on your particular situation, you may need to attend mediation sessions or court hearings during your divorce proceedings. It is important to be prepared for these events by being organized and having all relevant documents available. If necessary, practice what you plan on saying beforehand so that you are prepared when it comes time for mediation or court hearings.

Not Filing the Right Forms

One of the most common mistakes made when filing for a Do It Yourself Illinois Divorce is not filing the correct forms. This is especially important as each state has different forms and instructions required for a successful filing. To make sure you are filing the right forms and following all instructions, it is recommended to review the applicable state requirements. You should also consult with an experienced family law attorney to ensure that your filing is compliant with state laws.

Not Meeting Residency Requirements

In order to file for a Do It Yourself Illinois Divorce, you must meet certain residency requirements. This means that at least one of the parties must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days prior to filing. Additionally, if you have children under 18 years old, you must have lived in Illinois for at least 6 months prior to filing. Failing to meet these requirements can result in your divorce being dismissed or delayed.

Failing to Serve Your Spouse

Another common mistake made when filing for a Do It Yourself Illinois Divorce is failing to serve your spouse with divorce papers in a timely manner. In order for your divorce to be valid, your spouse must be properly served with notice of the proceedings and all associated paperwork. If your spouse fails to respond within 30 days of service, you may be able to proceed without them taking further action or responding in court.

Failing To Divide Property & Debt Properly

When filing for a Do It Yourself Illinois Divorce, it is important that both parties understand how their property and debt will be divided throughout the process. Failing to properly divide property and debt can lead to issues down the road and could potentially cause complications during settlement negotiations or court proceedings. Working with an experienced family law attorney can help ensure that all assets are divided fairly and that any potential issues are addressed before they become major problems down the road.


Do-It-Yourself divorce can be a great option for those who want to remain in control of the process and save money. By following the steps outlined in this guide, individuals will be able to complete their own divorce in Illinois without the assistance of a lawyer. It is important to remember that every step should be done carefully and accurately so that the court will accept it. By taking the time to properly complete all of the necessary paperwork, individuals can ensure that their divorce is done correctly and that all legal requirements are met.

When going through a divorce, it’s important to keep in mind that there are other resources available to help support you throughout the process. Many organizations, such as The National Divorce Resource Center, offer free or low-cost counseling and support services for those going through a divorce. Additionally, talking with friends or family members who have gone through a divorce may also provide helpful advice and support during this difficult time.

Ultimately, filing for a do-it-yourself divorce in Illinois can be an efficient way of completing the process while saving time and money. With careful planning and preparation, individuals should be able to successfully navigate through their own divorce without any complications or delays.

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