The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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How Can I Divorce a Missing or Uncooperative Spouse in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

Batavia divorce attorney default judgment

Making the decision to get a divorce is not a small one and should not be taken lightly. In an ideal situation, both spouses would come together to come up with the terms of their divorce agreement so they can bring their marriage to an end peacefully. However, very few situations end up being ideal and most divorces do not involve as much peace and cooperation as the spouses involved in them wish there was. Some divorces are only finalized due to the determination of one spouse because of the unwillingness or unknown whereabouts of the other spouse. In cases such as these, in which your spouse is missing or is unwilling to cooperate with the divorce, it is still possible to get a divorce, but the process will likely be slightly more complicated.

Divorcing an Unwilling Spouse

In most cases, once one spouse brings up the idea of a divorce, the other spouse will follow or at least try to resolve the situation. In some cases, however, the respondent, or the person who is receiving the divorce petition, may shut down or refuse to acknowledge the divorce papers or the other spouse’s desire for a divorce. Once you have filed the divorce petition with the clerk of the circuit court, your spouse has 30 days to respond to the petition and notify the court as to whether or not he or she will be showing up for the initial hearing.

If your spouse does not respond to the petition within 30 days or does not show up to the hearing, do not fret. You still will likely be able to get a divorce through a default judgment. When you request a default judgment, you are stating that your spouse did not respond to the petition, even with adequate notice. Default judgments are typically in favor of the spouse who requests the judgment.

Divorcing a Missing Spouse

In some cases, a person’s spouse may be missing, his or her whereabouts may be unknown, or he or she may be unreachable. In these types of situations, the court is still permitted to grant you a divorce if you request one, but there are extra steps that you will have to take. To get a divorce from a spouse who is missing or unreachable, you will have to prove to the court that you:

  • Made various reasonable attempts to get into contact with your spouse by serving hearing notices at their last known home address and/or workplace

  • You got in touch with people who may be aware of your spouse’s location, such as friends or family members

  • You published your divorce petition in the newspaper that is circulated in the area where your spouse last lived

Contact a Batavia Divorce Lawyer Today

Filing for a divorce can be a long and complicated process, but that process can become even more complicated if your spouse is uncooperative or missing in action. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand how frustrating it can be to feel like there are barriers to you finalizing your divorce. Our knowledgeable Kane County divorce attorney is here to help you with any issues you may have during your divorce case. To schedule an initial consultation, call our office today at 630-409-8184.




The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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