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How to Get a Divorce in Illinois When Your Spouse Is Missing

 Posted on July 14,2023 in Chicago divorce attorney

IL divorce lawyerIf you cannot find your spouse, getting a divorce in Illinois may be difficult. However, you should know that it is still possible. This article will explain the necessary steps for filing for divorce under Illinois law when your spouse is missing.

Attempting to Find a Missing Spouse

Before proceeding with a divorce, you must genuinely try to locate your spouse. This may include contacting friends, family members, employers, or others who may know your spouse’s whereabouts. You must list all of your attempts to locate your spouse in an affidavit of diligent search.

Divorce by Publication

If you have exhausted all options to find your spouse and still cannot locate them, Illinois law allows you to serve a divorce notice through a process called “Service by Publication.” This involves publishing a notice of the divorce in a local newspaper once a week for three consecutive weeks. Once the notice has been published and your spouse remains unresponsive, you can petition the court to issue a decree of divorce.

A divorce by publication is a complex process, and it is essential to follow the exact guidelines of Illinois law. This includes filing specific pleadings with the court, providing proof that you have published a notice in a newspaper, and other required documents. A lawyer is the perfect option to ensure you use this method properly.

Obtaining a Default Divorce

If your spouse does not respond to the notice published in the newspaper, you can request the court to grant you a “default divorce.” However, it is important to note that a court will not decide on child support, visitation, spousal support, or property division without your spouse’s participation. You must find your spouse and personally serve them with the divorce papers to address these matters.

A default divorce can still be a valid dissolution of your marriage, and you can move on with your life. However, if you want the court to decide matters related to finances or children, you should attempt to locate your spouse before proceeding. Without their participation, you may not receive the outcome you desire.

Contact a Naperville Divorce Lawyer

Divorcing a missing spouse in Illinois may seem daunting. However, it is important to remember that it is possible, and you can move on with your life. It is vital to follow proper legal procedures and know the next steps you should take. Seeking assistance from an Illinois family law attorney can help to ensure you are making the right next move. Call The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. at 630-409-8184 to make sure you are following the right path for your divorce.



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


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

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