What does the Illinois divorce process look like?
Generally speaking, there are an average of seven to eight steps in an Illinois divorce. There could be more or less steps, depending on children or how highly contested it is, but here is a general overview of the divorce process in Illinois.
Steps of an Illinois Divorce: (Image Courtesy of the Illinois Supreme Court)
- The Petitioner, or the 1st person, files for divorce
- A Summons is served to the Respondent, or 2nd person
- The Respondent must respond. Either a divorce lawyer responds that the person is represented, or the person tells the Court they will be representing themselves (called Pro Se)
- If there are children involved, both parents complete an online parenting class (short & easy, no test), and are issued certificates
- Both parties submit a Financial Affidavit (submit financial documents)
- Both parties often exchange Discovery Requests (submit more financial and other documents)
- Negotiation takes place (child support, parenting time, real estate, and debt & asset division, etc.)
- The Judge gets updates, in Court, as the case moves forward
- At the end, if both parties agree on everything, the Judge will be given a Marital Settlement Agreement at a Hearing called a Prove-Up
- At the end, if both parties cannot agree on everything, the case goes to Trial and the Judge decides on the issues that cannot be agreed upon
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