How to File for Divorce in Chicago, Illinois

By Brandi Palkoner
Chicago residents can file for dissolution of marriage in the Cook County Circuit Court.

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A dissolution of marriage, or divorce, can be filed in Illinois on the grounds of irreconcilable differences or a two year separation. Adultery, cruelty, abandonment, drug addiction and felony convictions are also recognized as grounds for a divorce. To file for divorce, you must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days. Jurisdiction of the court is determined by the county of residence. If you or your spouse lives in Chicago, a divorce petition can be filed at the Circuit Court of Cook County.


Draft a petition for dissolution of marriage. Include the name, age, occupation, address and length of residence in the state for both spouses. The petition will be self-drafted. The Cook County Circuit Court does not provide a form for the petition.

Provide the date and location of the marriage, as well as any pending divorce actions in other locations.

List the name, age and address of any children from the marriage and indicate if the wife is currently pregnant.

Specify the grounds on which the divorce is sought. Include arrangements for custody, visitation and family support and relief requested from the court.

Sign and date the petition.


Visit the Daley Center to obtain a divorce packet from the clerk of Cook County Circuit Court. Forms are also available to download and print at the court's website.

Complete a Domestic Relations Cover Sheet and a Certificate of Dissolution and Invalidity of Marriage form. These forms are required for both contested and uncontested divorces.

Fill out a Summons if you are filing a contested divorce and your spouse lives in Cook County. Complete a Praecipe for Summons if the spouse resides in another county.

Complete additional forms, including a Certificate and Agreement form, a Stipulation and Request to Hear Uncontested Cause, a Waiver of Two Year Waiting Period and a Marital Settlement Agreement, if you are filing an uncontested divorce. Forms must be signed by both parties.


File your paperwork with the clerk in Room 802 of the Daley Center. If you are filing an uncontested divorce, your spouse must be present at the time of filing.

Pay the filing fee. As of 2011, the fee to file for dissolution of marriage is $334.

Obtain a scheduled court date at the Motions desk.

About the Author

Brandi Palkoner brings a refreshing voice to the world of freelance writing. She is a member of Freelance Writers Association. Her lifelong love affair with words began at the early age of 3, when she first learned to read.

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