In this article we will explain the forms necessary for a couple to file for a divorce in Illinois, including “where to find the required forms for an Illinois divorce,” “What are the Required Forms for an Illinois Divorce?” and “How to Fill Out Illinois divorce forms.” The divorce process can be confusing for some, this forms guide is meant to be an easy way for couples to make sure they are completing everything that is required from them.
The required forms can vary slightly by county and can be found on the county court’s website or obtained from the county clerk. It is important to ensure that you obtain the particular forms in use in the county in which you will be filing so that the divorce paperwork will be accepted by the court. An Illinois divorce can be filed in the county in which either party resides.
The first form that must be completed is the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. On this form you will list your information and the reason you would like a divorce. Beyond the Petition for Dissolution, other forms that may be necessary depending on familial circumstances are a Financial Affidavit, which is for providing financial information to the other spouse; a Prove Up Sheet, which provides additional information for the prove up hearing; and a Parenting Plan, which explains how custody may work in the divorce.
The dissolution of marriage form signifies that the couple would like for the court to end the marriage. When filling out this form, be prepared to answer questions about the date and location of the marriage, the separation date, personal and employment information for each spouse, whether or not the couple has kids, debt and necessary compensation to either spouse. This form may also contain temporary orders for aspects of the divorce such as child custody, child support, visitation and where each spouse will reside until the divorce is finalized. The petition for dissolution of marriage may also be known as a divorce petition and approval of the petition means the marriage is legally ended.
For more on Petitions for Dissolution of marriage, check out our article, Petitions for Dissolution of Marriage Explained.
The financial affidavit is a way for the financial situation of each spouse to be presented to the other spouse as well as to the court so that matters such as child support, alimony and attorney’s fees can be decided. Filling out this form requires paperwork such as tax returns, proof of income and banking statements. Although there is no overall rule about the timeline of this form being filled out, local courts may have rules and a couple should look into their county court to determine how quickly the financial affidavit needs to be filled out and returned. The financial affidavit does not need to be filed with the county court, in most cases it should be sent to the other spouse and his/her lawyer. Both the income and the expenses on this form must be reported as monthly amounts, the form has instructions in the margins to guide those filling it out.
The parenting plan is an in-depth explanation of how childcare will be delegated after the divorce. Decisions about notifying in the case of a changed address, child health, religion, extracurricular activities, parenting time and holidays must be determined for the court. The parenting plan is intended to help couples reach parenting agreements outside of court, but lawyer intervention may be necessary. The parenting plan is also changeable by the court at a later time, with both parties’ approval.
For more on parenting plans, check out our article, Illinois Parenting Plans Explained.
Whichever spouse is filing the divorce petition is known as the petitioner, the other is the respondent. An important thing to note is that in Illinois, the couple is required to submit a parenting plan to the court within 120 days of filing for divorce.
For questions you may have while filling out the forms, the county clerk can provide some assistance in terms of instructions and basic meanings. Once all the paperwork is completed, the documents must be brought to the county clerk, along with a required payment for filing. After the paperwork is filled out, the other spouse will be served, either through a private party, the sheriff, or publishing the notice in a newspaper.