Everyone wants to spend as little time and money as possible when getting a divorce. It is possible to have a reasonably affordable divorce in Illinois in some cases. Before getting into more details about online divorce in Illinois, let’s see if a quick and easy dissolution of marriage is possible for your couple.
What Kind of Divorce You Can Get
A contested divorce requires that each spouse hire a lawyer, which is costly and rarely takes less than a year. To avoid this and have an uncontested divorce, a couple must agree on the terms of divorce beforehand and cooperate on all divorce-related issues. The spouses can hire legal counsel, but an uncontested divorce procedure is so simple that Illinois law recognizes people’s right to represent themselves and file for divorce. It is possible to have a Do-It-Yourself divorce, also known as going pro se.
To make an uncontested divorce even simpler, Illinois has a joint simplified divorce for couples that have no children together and a combined total income of not more than $35,000 per year. Additional requirements include owning no real property, duration of marriage less than eight years, and separation for at least six months before filing. Mind that couples that file a joint simplified divorce cannot claim spousal support.
If divorcing spouses want to pursue a divorce without an attorney, they can consider the option of preparing an application for divorce online, which is often called internet divorce or web divorce.
Complete Divorce Online
How do divorce companies help customers in Illinois apply for divorce quicker and cheaper? They provide court-approved forms and detailed filing instructions and guide couples through completing their divorce papers online. Having filled out an online questionnaire on the family’s children, property, and income, customers get completed forms emailed to them. All they need to do is print out the completed forms and sign them in the presence of a notary. Now, the paperwork is ready to file. It is so easy and affordable that there is no need to hire lawyers to do it for you.
How to File a DIY Divorce?
In Illinois, the divorce process is straightforward and starts similarly to all types of divorce. After the paperwork is filed, each its own course. For an uncontested divorce, the following steps are required:
Step 1. The petitioner obtains state-specific forms and fills them out, indicating grounds for divorce, personal information, basic information on the couple’s children and property, and current living arrangements. As a no-fault state, Illinois grants divorce on the grounds of ‘irreconcilable differences,’ but under the condition of separation. The exact requirement is to ‘live separately and apart for over two years.’ However, if the divorcing spouses memorialize a document saying they have lived separately for at least six months, the Illinois court will accept it as the required period of separation.
Step 2. Make sure that you meet the residency requirements. Either the petitioner or the respondent must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days before filing for divorce. If a divorcing couple has children together, no child custody determination can be made before the children have lived in Illinois for at least six months.
Step 3. Bring the completed paperwork to the courthouse. The petitioner files the originals and two copies of the divorce documents with the court clerk’s office and pays filing fees. Court filing fees vary from country to county. For example, filing for divorce will cost $306 in Adams County and $276 in Will County. Those who have low income and can prove it with pay stubs and other documents may qualify for a fee waiver. Ask the clerk for more details. The clerk keeps the originals to start the divorce process, stamps the copies, and returns them to the petitioner. The petitioner keeps one copy of the divorce paperwork for himself or herself and serves the other copy on the respondent.
Step 4. Arrange process service for the respondent. By law, the petitioner cannot serve the divorce papers personally. Either a sheriff or a process server is hired to do the job. Upon accepting the papers, the respondent has to file a response and pay a filing fee.
Step 5. Illinois has no waiting period. Once the couple has filed all the required forms and submitted a marital settlement agreement, a hearing can be set according to the judge’s schedule and workload. At the hearing, both parties must attend, and the judge will review the submitted documents and request the spouses to announce the terms of their divorce. If the spouses have agreed on all issues and the paperwork is completed correctly, the judge will sign a divorce decree and finalize the divorce.
Chrissy Ryland - I'm a freelance writer and blogger from Northern California. I grew up loving all things entertainment and travel and now I am blessed with a career that lets me write about both of those topics along with many others. For inquiries about a story you think I might want to cover, please contact me at email@example.com