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How Do I File for Divorce in Illinois?

Posted by Christopher Holwell | Mar 23, 2017 | 0 Comments

You must follow the proper procedure for your specific county. This is a basic outline for the procedure. You can contact our office for help and a free consultation at (312) 648-6115.

Residency Requirement

Divorce is commonly referred to as "dissolution of marriage". Illinois no longer has fault based divorce. One of the spouses must be a resident of Illinois for at least 90 days.


A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage may be filed in the circuit court in the county where either spouse resides or any other county (with a Petition for Approval of Venue; contact our attorneys for more information) and serve a copy of the Petition to the other spouse within thirty (30) days and the responding spouse must file their appearance thirty (30) days after that.

Court-Mandated Classes

When minor children are involved, the Court reserves the right to order the parents to attend an education program concerning the effects of dissolution of marriage on the child/children. (it shall not exceed four (4) hours. Each parent shall pay their own costs.

Spouses Name

Upon request by a wife who's marriage is dissolved, the court shall order that her maiden name or former name be restored.

Property Division

Illinois is an equitable distribution state which means marital property will be divided fairly and equitably, but not necessarily equally. Pension benefits acquired by either spouse during the marriage are marital unless defined as "non-marital property". Commingling a non-marital asset will transform it to marital.

Maintence (see our post on "maintence".)

Parenting Allocation and Child Support (formerly Custody) contact our office at (312)648-6115.

General Guidelines: 20% for one child; 28% for two children; 32% for three children; 40% for four children; 45% for five children; 50% for six or more children.

Please contact our office for more information at (312) 648-6115 and check our resources page for links to Illnois Compiled Statues.

About the Author

Christopher Holwell

Christopher W. Holwell Attorney/Principal 9 years with Holwell Group, LLC/Law Offices of Christopher W. Holwell 19 years as a trial attorney for Divorce, Real Estate, Insurance Coverage, and Injury. One of my biggest accomplishments in a divorce case was getting a multi-million dollar settlement from a spouse that was not disclosing several million dollars in assets. In addition, I was able to get the other spouse to fully fund the one child's college education as part of the settlement. Another of my biggest accomplishments in an injury case was procuring a several hundred thousand dollar settlement for my 14-year-old client who suffered a knee injury during an after school athletic program. I was able to get all interested parties to set aside funds for the client's college fund in case his athletic scholarship was affected. I am constantly attending Continuing Legal Education seminars to stay up to date on any changes in the law that might affect any of my clients. My primary areas of practice are Divorce, Family Law, Real Estate, and Insurance Litigation. Most of my clients are concerned with what to do or what not to do when the first come to see me for a consultation or appointment. Their next concern is usually financial; what are they going to do now? How are they going to survive? I tell each client, based on their unique situation, what their options are and what will happen next. I am there for them from start to finish. The best part of my job is doing the work the client is too upset to do. While I understand the emotional roller-coaster clients go through, my experience allows me to step outside the emotion point of view, and use the law and facts to benefit my clients to the best of my ability. I was born in Oak Lawn, Illinois, was raised in Bridgeview up until college and now live in Lake County, Illinois with my family (my wife and three children.) I still have family in Bridgeview, Oak Lawn, and Orland Park. A little-known fact about me is that I love astronomy and anything to do with the stars and planets. In my free time, I tend to read a lot, usually late at night and play with my children and new Newfoundland puppy, Indy (Indiana Jones) I am admitted to practice law in Illinois and all Federal Courts including the Supreme Court of the Untied States of America. I treat my clients like friends. You can reach me at: (312) 648-6115 [email protected] [email protected] Linkedin: Christopher W. Holwell Facebook: Holwell Law Group, LLC


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