A divorce can be an extremely emotional time for the parties involved. If you have made the decision to file for divorce in Will County, Illinois, you may be able to file the divorce yourself without the help of an attorney. Consulting with a family law attorney is always in your best interest.
However, the petition may be completed and filed either by yourself or by you and your spouse as a joint petition.
Confirm that you meet the statutory requirements necessary to file for divorce. For example, you must have been a resident of Illinois for the 90 days preceding the filing of your petition. The statutory requirements can be found in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (see Resources).
Prepare your petition for divorce. If you are filing a joint petition for simplified divorce, a form can be found on the Will County Illinois Circuit Clerk's website (see Resources). If you do not meet the conditions necessary for a simplified divorce, you may be able to use the uncontested forms found on the Illinois Legal Aid website (see Resources). In general, the petition must include the names of both parties, the dates of marriage and separation, information on children born of the marriage, your grounds for divorce and a brief description of what you are asking for in the divorce.
Prepare a summons. The summons is the document that notifies your spouse that you have initiated the divorce. Your spouse must be served with the summons and petition unless he or she is filing with you and has signed a waiver.
Make several copies of the petition and summons, if needed. File the petition and summons with the Circuit Clerk's office, located at 14 W. Jefferson Street, Joliet, IL 60432.
If possible, always consult with a licensed attorney before preparing or filing any legal papers. Forms are available at local stationary stores or from many online websites for a fee.
Make sure you ask for everything that you want in the original petition, as a judge cannot normally award you anything that you did not ask for in the petition.
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