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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois
 

Getting a Divorce (without children)

Below are frequently asked questions for couples who want a divorce and who do not have adopted or biological children. You can also use this information if you have adult children who do not require financial assistance. If your child is over 18 but is still in high school or plans on attending college please use "Getting a Divorce (with children parents agree)" or "Getting a Divorce (with children parents do not agree)".

Is assistance available if I need help?

There are a number of free and helpful legal resources available regarding divorce:

  • DuPage County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service: The local bar association offers a referral service hotline for DuPage County residents. Self-represented litigants are connected with an attorney who practices in the area of divorce law. The litigant gets a free 30 minute consultation. After that, there is a fee. Call 630-653-9109 or use their online referral form at: https://www.dcba.org/page/FindLawyerInstant

  • Free Legal Answers: This is an online service provided by the American Bar Association. Legal questions can be emailed to an Illinois licensed attorney who will respond via email. Currently, there is a limit of three (3) questions per person: https://il.freelegalanswers.org/

  • www.IllinoisLegalAid.org: This website is created just for litigants who are not represented by an attorney. It contains many helpful resources such as FAQs, court forms and diagrams explaining the divorce process.

  • DuPage County Law Library: The DuPage County Law Library is open Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm except for court holidays. Anyone with court business can utilize the library. The law library provides legal information but not legal advice. For more information, please visit the Hours & Services website.

I don't know where my spouse is. Can I still get a divorce?

Yes. You can get a divorce if you do not know where your spouse is located. However, you must make a good faith effort to locate them. For more information please read "I want to divorce someone who cannot be found" on the Illinois Legal Aid website. 

My spouse is in jail/prison. Can I still get a divorce?

Yes. It is possible to divorce a spouse currently in jail/prison. You will need to know which jail and their inmate number. For more information please read "I want to divorce someone in jail or prison." on the Illinois Legal Aid website. The DuPage County Jail inmate search is available at this link: https://search.dupagesheriff.org/inmate/list.

What are the different types of divorce?

Uncontested divorce: An uncontested divorce is when both spouses agree on all issues regarding property, pets, marital debt and spousal support. A judge must still approve the agreement.

Default divorce: If one spouse files for divorce and the other does not reply by filing an Appearance and Answer, it will be an uncontested divorce. The case will go on without the other spouse, and the court will make decisions based on what the first spouse says. At the end of a divorce case, a judge will issue an order called a "decree," or "judgment," which officially ends the marriage. The divorce judgment will cover the issues below:

  • Children
  • Property and pets
  • Marital debt
  • Spousal support

Contested divorce: When one spouse challenges whether the couple should get a divorce or any other reason, you have a divorce dispute. This is referred to as a contested divorce and can take more than 18 months to be resolved. In this situation, spouses disagree about any of these things:

  • Whether to get a divorce?
  • Where a companion animal should live?
  • How property should be split up?
  • Who should pay certain debts?
  • Whether "maintenance" or spousal support (alimony) should be paid?

Am I the Petitioner or the Respondent in our divorce case?

You are the Petitioner if you are requesting the divorce. As the Petitioner, you will file the court documents to begin the divorce. The Respondent will be the other spouse who responds to the case.

Is there a fee to file for divorce?

There is a fee to file for a divorce. A complete list of fees is available to download here.

I would like to file for a divorce. How do I do this?

You are the Petitioner if you are asking for a divorce and choose to start the process. Your spouse is the Respondent. A brief divorce overview of is available on the Illinois Legal Aid website. All of the divorce forms and instructions on this website are accepted in the 18th Judicial Circuit Court - DuPage County. 

Where can I find the necessary divorce forms?

You may use this online divorce program. This program prepares the divorce documents and provides you with instructions on how to file your documents with the court.

How long does the online divorce program take?

Typically, it takes about 45-60 minutes to complete the program. However, it could take longer if you do not have all of the necessary information about you, your spouse and/or your property .

I do not have access to the internet and/or a computer. What can I do?

The DuPage County Law Library has a self-help center with free access to computers and the internet. The library is open Monday - Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm except for court holidays. There is a 10¢/pg fee to print or to copy. We accept CASH ONLY - no debit or credit cards are accepted.

I do not feel comfortable typing or using a computer. What can I do?

You may ask to file paper forms with the Circuit Clerk's Office. Complete the  request using the exemption forms and bring them with your divorce paperwork to the Circuit Clerk's Office (1st floor of the courthouse) during normal business hours.

I have completed the divorce program. Am I divorced now? 

No, this program only provides you with the necessary forms. You must still e-file your forms and appear in court. Divorce forms are e-filed online using the e-filing website

Is e-filing assistance available?

Yes. A manual is available on the e-filing website. You can also contact the Circuit Clerk's Office with questions at 630-407-8700 Monday - Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm except for court holidays. In person assistance is available at the DuPage County Courthouse in the Circuit Clerk's Office (1st floor).The courthouse is located at 505 N. County Farm Rd Wheaton, IL 60187.

I have e-filed my forms, do I need to serve my spouse?

Please read the instructions that were provided with the online divorce program regarding service of process on your spouse. If you have further questions, please contact the Circuit Clerk's Office during normal business hours. There is a fee to have a Sheriff serve your spouse.

My spouse has been served, how do I prepare for my court date?

As the Petitioner, please read the instructions that were provided with the online divorce program. Below are necessary steps you must complete before coming to your court date.

  1. Certify mail a copy of your Financial Affidavit to your spouse. 
  2. Complete and print this form: Marital Settlement Agreement.
  3. If it isn't possible/unsafe to get your spouse's signature on the Marital Settlement Agreement before court, you can wait until your court date to have them.
  4. Make three (3) copies of the e-filed and time stamped Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the Return of Summons, Financial Affidavit, Marital Settlement Agreement and Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
  5. Mail or drop off one (1) set of the above forms to the Judge assigned to your case. The address is below:
    Hon. (Judge's name)
    Domestic Relations Division
    505 N. County Farm Rd
    Wheaton, IL 60187
  6. Bring the rest of the copies with you to your court date.

On my court date, what do I do?

Bring all your copies with you. Free parking is available in the parking garage near the county fairgrounds. No camera devices such as camera phones are allowed into the courthouse. Lockers to store your phones are available on the first floor of the parking garage. Everyone must come through security - wallets, keys, cash, change and belts are allowed through security. Find your courtroom on the hallway monitors. Go to your courtroom and check in with the clerk sitting next to the Judge. Take a seat and wait for your case number to be called.