Getting a divorce with children if parents do not agree
If you and your spouse do not agree on the amount of child support, marital support, parenting time or parenting responsibilities you can file a "contested divorce". A contested divorce means you do not agree with your spouse about important aspects of the divorce.
What are the grounds for divorce?
In IL, there is only one (1) legal grounds for divorce: irreconcilable differences.
What does "irreconcilable differences" mean?
When a couple cannot agree about things in their marriage and don’t think they can ever come to an agreement. This is the only reason you can use to get a divorce in Illinois.
Are contested divorce forms available?
Yes. Contested divorce forms are available. The Illinois Supreme Court has created standardized forms that can be used in the 18th Judicial Circuit Court - DuPage County or any Illinois county.
Where do I find the correct forms?
The forms are available on the Illinois Supreme Court forms website.
Are these forms downloadable?
Yes. The divorce forms can be downloaded as PDFs. You can download and print the forms and use a pen to answer the questions. You can also type in your answers and then print them.
Is there an overview of the divorce process?
The Illinois Supreme Court created a helpful divorce overview. This overview discusses the purpose of each of the divorce forms and divorce court procedures: http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/forms/approved/divorce/Divorce_with_Children_Instructions2.pdf
How do I complete each form?
Instructions are provided in the left margins of each form. These instructions will help explain each question.
Is there assistance available if I need help?
There are a number of free and helpful legal divorce resources:
- DuPage County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service: The local attorney 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 half hour (30 minute) consultation with the attorney. Call 630-653-9109 or use their online referral https://www.dcba.org/page/FindLawyerInstant.
- Free Legal Answers: This is an online service provided through the American Bar Association. Legal questions can be emailed to an Illinois licensed attorney who will respond via email. There is currently a limit of three (3) questions that can be asked: https://il.freelegalanswers.org/
- www.IllinoisLegalAid.org: This is a website created just for litigants who are not represented by an attorney. The www.IllinoisLegalAid.org website contains many helpful resources such as FAQs, 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 use the library. For more information please visit the Hours & Services website.
Am I the petitioner or respondent?
You are the Petitioner if you are requesting the divorce. You will file the court documents to begin the divorce. You are the Respondent if you are served with divorce papers and intend on responding to the divorce petition.
What forms does the Petitioner file ?
The Petitioner completes the forms below:
After completing the forms, e-file the Petition and the Summons. Visit the e-filing instructions web page for instructions on registering an account and uploading documents: https://www.dupageco.org/LawLibrary/51553/
After e-filing the Petition and the Summons, send the Financial Affidavit certified mail to your spouse. E-file the Proof of Delivery.
What forms does the Respondent file?
The Respondent is served with the Petition and the Summons. Complete these forms:
After completing the forms, e-file the Entry of Appearance. After filing the Appearance, send a copy of the Entry of Appearance certified mail to your spouse. Send a copy of the Financial Affidavit certified mail to your spouse, too. E-file your Appearance Proof of Delivery and Financial Affidavit Proof of Delivery.
Before my court date, what other forms should I complete?
The forms listed below MUST be completed BEFORE your court date. A copy of each should be mailed/dropped off with the Judge assigned to your case WELL IN ADVANCE of your court date. :
Both parties can work on these forms together OR separately. If you and your spouse disagree, you can complete the following forms on your own. Make sure you drop off or mail a copy of each form with the Judge well in advance of your court date.
Where can I drop off/mail my forms for the Judge?
Make sure to drop off paper copies of all your documents to the Judge assigned to your case. You should do this well in advance of your court date.
Hon. (Judge's Name)
3rd floor - Domestic Relations
DuPage County Courthouse
505 N. County Farm Rd
Wheaton, IL 60187
What should I expect on my court date?
Bring at least three (3) copies of all of your completed documents with you to court. Free parking is available in the West parking lot near the DuPage County Fairgrounds. Arrive at least thirty (30) minutes early. Leave any camera devices such as camera phones in your car or in a locker in the parking garage. Go through security. Find your courtroom on the hall monitors. Go to your courtroom. Check in with the clerk sitting next to the Judge. Take a seat and wait for your name to be called. Walk up to one of the tables in front of the Judge when your name is called. Answer any questions the Judge has. You may take notes.