What Is a Petition for Divorce?

IL divorce lawyerThere are around 5,000 marriages per year in DuPage County, and there are almost half as many divorces annually, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The first step of divorce begins with what is called the petition for divorce. The petition for divorce is served by one spouse to the other. The spouse that serves the petition to the other is called the petitioner. First, they must file papers with the court, after which they are required to legally deliver, or serve, the petition to the other spouse.

What Information Does the Petition Include?

The petition for divorce generally includes all of the following information:

  • Location of marriage
  • Date of marriage
  • Names and addresses of the spouses
  • Names of children
  • Grounds for divorce
  • Statement that at least one spouse has had residency in the state for at least 90 days, allowing the divorce to take place in Illinois, as per 750 ILCS 5/401
  • Information about how the petitioner wants to settle matters such as division of marital assets, child custody, child support, and alimony

Temporary Orders

A petition for divorce may request the court to place temporary orders to help with the following:

  • Child support
  • Child custody
  • Child visitation
  • Spousal support
  • Where each spouse will live
  • How bills and the mortgage will be paid

These temporary orders may or may not be approved by the court. Moreover, they will only remain in place until the divorce is finalized and long term court orders are put in place.

Restraining Orders

Once the petition for divorce has been served, neither spouse is allowed to take children out of state. They are also barred from selling marital property, take out a loan on marital property, or borrow or sell insurance of the other spouse.

Does the Other Spouse Have to Respond?

The other spouse, called the respondent, must respond to the petition for divorce within the time limit given, which is usually 30 days, or they risk not having a say in the divorce. If the respondent does not respond, the petitioner can ask the judge to grant the divorce by default, meaning that the respondent may not get to negotiate alimony, child support, and child custody. Whether the other spouse responds or not, the divorce can still happen, and the respondent is only penalizing themselves by not responding to the petition for divorce.

Call a DuPage Divorce Attorney Today to Get Started

Whether you have been served a petition for divorce, or you desire to get started with the divorce yourself by filing a petition for divorce, you need to work with an attorney. Call the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio today at 630-920-8855 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys.





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