How to File for Divorce in Illinois

IL divorce lawyerExperts are still saying that divorce rates are continuing to increase during the pandemic. People stuck at home together for months on end, job loss, and a lack of money are all contributing factors to this phenomenon. If you are considering divorce for any reason, below are the steps you will have to follow and what you can expect.

Eligibility for Divorce

Like all states, Illinois has certain requirements. Prior to filing, you must live in Illinois for a minimum of 90 days. You must also file in the county in which you or your spouse currently resides.

Divorce vs. Legal Separation

You may know you want a divorce, or you may choose a legal separation for religious or other reasons. A separation agreement is very similar to a divorce decree, as it will include certain legally-binding terms, such as parenting time, child support, and property division. Unlike a divorce decree, a legal separation does not mean you are divorced which can place limitations on you, such as being unable to get married again.

Filing the Petition

To file for divorce, you must file the petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court. Your spouse then has a chance to respond to the petition once they are served with the petition and they must do so within 30 days.

Prepare for Discovery

During the discovery phase of the divorce, each side can ask the other party for certain information, such as bank statements, financial affidavits, and sworn testimony. Although your divorce lawyer will likely take care of this task, you should prepare certain documents so you can submit them for discovery.

Prepare for Mediation

You and your spouse may enter into mediation voluntarily, or a court may order it, particularly if your divorce involves child custody and parenting time issues. Mediation can provide for a more peaceful divorce and is typically less costly and less time-consuming than litigated divorces.

Temporary Divorce Orders

Many issues will arise in the time between when you file for divorce and once your case is finalized. If you and your spouse cannot agree on certain terms, the court will issue temporary orders for spousal support, child support, child custody, and visitation.

Settlement Negotiations

Most divorce cases are settled out of court when the two parties can enter into negotiations honestly and come to an agreement. Typically, the divorce lawyers for each side will negotiate with each other. If a fair settlement agreement is reached, it is submitted to the court for approval.


When you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement, even if it only concerns one term of the divorce, you will have to enter litigation. Divorce trials can become very lengthy and costly, so it is best to try and avoid litigation whenever possible.

Our Illinois Divorce Lawyers can Guide You Through the Process

If you are considering divorce and want to work with a skilled Hinsdale divorce lawyer that will guide you through the process, call our experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio today. We will explain all of your options, negotiate effectively to reach a fair settlement, and give you the best chance of securing a favorable outcome. Call us today at 630-920-8855 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and get the legal advice you need.



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