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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois
 

Getting a divorce with children if both parents agree

You can file an "uncontested divorce" if you and your spouse agree on all divorce issues such as child support, marital support, parenting time and parenting responsibilities Uncontested means that there is nothing to contest, or argue, about. 

What are the grounds for divorce?

In Illinois, there is only one (1) legal grounds for divorce: irreconcilable differences.

What does "irreconcilable differences" mean?

Irreconcilable differences means a couple cannot agree about things in the 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.

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

You are the Petitioner if you are requesting the divorce. The Petitioner files the court documents to begin the divorce. The Respondent will be the other spouse.

Is there a fee to get a divorce?

Yes. View a complete list of filing fees.

Does my spouse have to come to court?

The Petitioner spouse must come to court. If the Respondent spouse is aware of the divorce, agrees to all the terms, has read through and signed all of the necessary forms than s/he does not have to appear in court.

What form does the the Respondent complete if s/he agrees to the divorce but doesn't want to come to court?

The Respondent must complete the Entry of Appearance Waiver & Consent form. This form must be notarized by a notary. The Respondent gives it back to the Petitioner. The Petitioner should file this after e-filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. 

Can my spouse decide to come to court later?

Yes. The Respondent can decide to appear in court at a later date. S/he must complete the Entry of Appearance form. S/he must register for an e-filing account and then e-file this form using the e-filing website.

Is there a fee to file an Entry of Appearance?

Yes. There is a fee to file this form. View a complete list of fees.

Are free divorce forms available?

Yes, free 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 these forms?

All the forms are listed below. You can also go to the Illinois Supreme Court forms website. The forms will be the same.

Besides the above forms, do I need to do anything else?

  • Estimate child support: Use the Illinois Department of Healthcare & Family Services child support estimator. This estimator gives you and the Judge an idea of how much child support will be required. Bring three (3) copies of the estimated child support with you on your court date. The Judge will need a copy.
  • Complete the Parenting Class: Both parents must complete the mandatory Parenting Class and print off the certificate of completion when done. Bring a copy of your certificate with you on your court date.

Is help available if I need assistance?

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 half hour (30 minutes) consultation with the attorney. 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 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 by an individual: https://il.freelegalanswers.org/

  • www.IllinoisLegalAid.org: This is a website created just for litigants who are not represented by an attorney. This website 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 use the library. The library provides legal information but not legal advice. For more information please visit the Hours & Services website.

What is "e-filing"?

Divorce documents must be electronically filed with the court. This is called "e-filing". E-filing your document ensures that your court forms become legal documents, are placed on the court's schedule and receive an official time stamp. 

Which spouse needs to e-file?

The Petitioner must register for an e-filing account. The Respondent must register for an e-filing account if they wish to appear  in court.

What does the Petitioner e-file?

After the Petitioner registers for an e-filing account, s/he files the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and the Entry of Appearance Waiver & Consent.

What if I am not comfortable using a computer or do not have internet/ a computer?

If you are not comfortable with computers, you can request to be exempt from electronically filing your divorce forms. Complete the Certification for  Exemption from E-filing form and bring this with you to the Circuit Clerk's Office on the 1st floor of the courthouse.

If you do not have computer access you can use the free internet and computers in the law library's self help center. There is a 10¢/pg fee to print - cash only.