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


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

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All About the Illinois Divorce Process

Posted on in Divorce
Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,Divorce is a fairly common thing in the United States, with the Illinois Department of Public Health reporting that 29,331 divorces were granted in the state of Illinois in 2016. Divorce can be a messy process, spanning months, or even years in difficult cases. There are many things to consider, like assets, money, debts and even children. The divorce process can be overwhelming, but with the help of a lawyer, it can be simplified. Filing a Petition

After you have made the decision to file for a divorce, the first step is to file what is called a petition. A petition is simply just the formal way of asking the court of the county where you reside for a divorce. Even if the divorce is a mutual agreement, one spouse must file the petition that will be served to the other. The petition will state the two individuals involved in the divorce, information about the residency requirements and the reason for the divorce. In Illinois, you qualify for divorce if you have lived in the state for more than 90 days. You can choose whether or not you want to state a reason for divorce or if you want to file a no-fault divorce. The state of Illinois recognizes the following as grounds for divorce:

  • Habitual mental cruelty;
  • Habitual physical cruelty;
  • Drug or alcohol abuse;
  • Willful desertion or abandonment for one year;
  • Adultery;
  • Infection with a sexually transmitted disease; and
  • Conviction of a felony.

Temporary Orders

The next step in filing for divorce is to gather and fill out all of the documents necessary to reconcile your separation. These forms are called temporary orders and they set rules for family and financial issues during the time that the divorce is being processed. These forms pertain to issues such as:

  • Custody of children;
  • Child visitation schedule;
  • Child support payments;
  • Spousal support payments;
  • Residence agreements; and
  • Bill payments.

Notification and Response from Spouse

The next step is to file proof of service of process. This is a form that proves that a copy of the petition for divorce was given to your spouse. The person who receives this service of process will then need to respond to it. If the divorce was filed under fault grounds, the person can then choose to dispute those grounds in the response. If the person disagrees with the custody arrangements, support payments, property division or any other issues set forth, they should use the response to address this and file it with the court.

Negotiation Process

If there is a disagreement on the provisions of the divorce, the couple must then enter into the negotiation process. This is the part of divorce that can drag on and take a long period of time. Often couples schedule meetings with each other and each other’s lawyers to negotiate the terms of the divorce. The court may also schedule settlement meetings that aim to move the two parties forward toward a resolution. In the state of Illinois, if parents disagree on matters pertaining to the children, they may be ordered to attend mediation and evaluations of the children and parents by a social worker to determine the best course of action for the children.

Order of Dissolution

After everything is negotiated and figured out, the order of dissolution is to be filed, which outlines how property and debts are divided, custody agreements, support payments, and other issues. After the order is submitted to the court and it meets all requirements, the dissolution will be granted and the divorce will be final.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Things can get sticky in a divorce, and when they do, you need an experienced Illinois divorce attorney by your side every step of the way. Contact the Law Office of Matthew C. Williams, P.C. to see how they can help guide you through the process. Call 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.


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


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

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