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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois
 

Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

Procedures & Information

This information is being provided to you to assist you in filing a Joint Simplified Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This type of dissolution procedure is not available to everyone. There are limitations on, among other items, the length of the marriage, the amount of property owned and the income of the parties. You should read this information carefully to see if this procedure is available to you. Also included is general information on Dissolution of Marriage and instructions for completing the necessary forms.

General Information Concerning Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

A Dissolution of Marriage (commonly referred to as a divorce) is a serious legal step which should not be taken without considerable thought. If you are considering such a proceeding, you should note the following:

This information is being provided to you to assist you in filing a Joint Simplified Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This type of dissolution procedure is not available to everyone. There are limitations on, among other items, the length of the marriage, the amount of property owned and the income of the parties. You should read this information carefully to see if this procedure is available to you. Also included is general information on Dissolution of Marriage and instructions for completing the necessary forms. A Dissolution of Marriage (commonly referred to as a divorce) is a serious legal step which should not be taken without considerable thought. If you are considering such a proceeding, you should note the following:

  • It is in the best interests of each of the parties to consult attorneys regarding the dissolution of their marriage. An attorney can give you important information about your individual rights in the proceedings.
  • You should not rely exclusively on this web site which is intended only as a guide for self representation. It does not tell you about your rights and responsibilities.
  • Marriage counseling services are available to you in your community.
  • If you use this joint simplified proceeding you will lose any right you may have to maintenance (commonly known as alimony). Once you lose the right to maintenance in a legal proceeding, you can never again obtain maintenance from your former spouse.
  • A Judgment of Dissolution (divorce) permanently settles all financial rights arising out of your marriage, including the right to property held in the name of your husband or wife and the right to receive support from your spouse. You will have no rights to appeal. Such a judgment may only be set aside on the grounds of fraud, duress, accident, mistake or other grounds at law on in equity.
  • You and your spouse remain married and cannot remarry until a Judgment dissolving your marriage is signed by the Judge.

Who may use the Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage Procedure?

  • To use the Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage procedure, the following must apply to you and your spouse.
  • Irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. All efforts at reconciliation of the differences have failed and future attempts a reconciliation would not be in the best interest of you and your spouse.
  • You and your spouse must have lived separate and apart for at least six months and you must be willing to waive the requirement for a two year separation before obtaining a dissolution on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.
  • You must have been married less then eight (8) years and either you or your spouse (or both) must have lived in the State of Illinois for at least ninety (90) days immediately prior to filing for the dissolution.
  • No children were born or adopted by you and your spouse during your relationship and the wife is not now pregnant.
  • Your joint, annual gross income from all sources must be less than $35,000.00 (Thirty-Five Thousand Dollars). The total value of marital property you and your spouse own, less any encumbrances (amount owed) on the property (such as the amount owed on a car loan), must be less than $10,000.00 (Ten Thousand Dollars). Neither you nor your spouse may own any real estate.
  • You and your spouse each must be willing to permanently give up any right to maintenance (alimony).
  • You and your spouse must have disclosed to each other all assets each of you have, and have disclosed all tax returns filed during your marriage.
  • You and your spouse must sign a written agreement (Form 3259) diving between yourselves all marital assets worth more than $100.00 (One Hundred Dollars) and dividing responsibility for all debts and liabilities. You must divide the property and sign and exchange all documents (such as automobile titles, etc.) necessary to carry out the agreement before any court hearings.
  • You and your spouse must waive any right you may have to a bifurcated hearing on your dissolution petition (a hearing held in two parts, one to decide the issues related to granting the dissolution and another to decide any property or other issues.

Instructions for Completing the Forms

There are five forms which must be completed for obtaining a joint simplified dissolution of marriage. All of these forms have been drafted to be self-explanatory and as easy to complete as possible.

All forms, except for the Dissolution of Marriage Certificate (State Form VR700), may be completed online and then printed out; or print form and then type in the necessary information or neatly print the information in black ink in the spaces provided. Fill out all forms completely.

There are five forms which must be completed for obtaining a joint simplified dissolution of marriage. All of these forms have been drafted to be self-explanatory and as easy to complete as possible. All forms, except for the Dissolution of Marriage Certificate (State Form VR700), may be completed online and then printed out; or print form and then type in the necessary information or neatly print the information in black ink in the spaces provided. Fill out all forms completely.

Forms  (click on name of form to download)

  1. Joint Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Form 3257)
  2. Joint Affidavit for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Form 3258)
  3. Marital Settlement Agreement for Joint Dissolution of Marriage (Form 3259)
  4. Judgment for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Form 3260)
  5. State of Illinois Department of Public Health Bureau of Vital Records - Dissolution of Marriage Certificate (State Form VR700)

Questions or comments regarding these forms can be emailed to CustomerService.CircuitClerk@18thjudicial.org.

The Joint Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Form 3257), Joint Affidavit for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Form 3258), and Joint Marital Settlement Agreement (Form 3259) must be signed before a Notary Public or a Deputy Circuit Court Clerk before it can be filed.

The Judgment for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Form 3260) need not be signed before a Notary Public or Deputy Circuit Clerk but must be completed and signed by the Husband and Wife below the words "Approved as to Form and Content" before your hearing. If the Court grants the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, the Judge will enter the order and deliver the same to the Circuit Court Clerk. (You may obtain a certified copy of the Judgment from the Clerk on the next business day. There is a charge for this copy.)

If the wife wishes to return to her maiden or former name, she should complete paragraph 11 and C on Form 3257 and paragraphs 11 and D on Form 3260.

To file a case, you must present the completed forms to the Circuit Court Clerk together with a filing fee. The Clerk will give your petition a Case Number and assign a Judge to your case.

Once the case is filed, YOU MUST SCHEDULE THE CASE FOR A HEARING BEFORE A JUDGE IN THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS DIVISION BY CALLING THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS SCHEDULER AT 630-407-8854. Give the scheduler the Case Number and Name of the Judge assigned to your case. The scheduler will give you a Court Date, Time and Location. BOTH HUSBAND AND WIFE MUST APPEAR FOR THIS HEARING. At this hearing, if the Judge grants your petition, you will the present the Judgment Order (Form 3260) and the Dissolution of Marriage Certificate (State Form VR700) to the Judge. (All forms must be fully completed before the hearing.)

Other than providing these general instructions and forms, the Circuit Court Clerks are prohibited by law from giving legal advice. (10/03) The forms are available on our web site however these forms are also available in the Clerk's Office and are NCR 3 part forms.