DIY Divorce – Is It Possible To Divorce in Illinois Without a Lawyer?

Divorce is a difficult time when emotions run rampant, stress levels are high, and finances are stretched. Some people choose to dump it all in the lap of an attorney who handles the whole thing, but that’s certainly not the only way to go. The state of Illinois respects the couple’s right to choose, allowing them to work through the divorce process without the drama of court fights and soul-destroying battles that prolong the pain. Simple do-it-yourself paperwork can save thousands of dollars while achieving the same results: a dissolution of marriage and a chance to move forward in your new life with the least amount of trauma.

How Does It Work?

Illinois is unlike some states, such as Washington and California, that grant only no-fault divorces. Illinois is a bit more nuanced, allowing couples to file “fault” or “no-fault” papers, and “contested” or “uncontested” divorces. There are also “simplified” filing options, and the paperwork can differ slightly from one county to the next. This can seem confusing, but an uncontested, no-fault divorce can actually be as simple as gathering forms, working out an agreement with your spouse, filing the papers, and making a court appearance for the final decree. The complications typically arise when figuring out which forms you need and filling them in correctly. The solution can be a low-cost Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Divorce program that provides all the necessary papers, along with video instructions for each step. It can save a lot of time and frustration, eliminating long courthouse lines and reducing the fear of getting incorrect legal information.

Things to Consider

To file for divorce in Illinois, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least 90 days, and there must be a six-month separation window. There is a process called “joint simplified dissolution of marriage” that requires little or no expertise, but applies to only a very small percentage of couples. The marriage must be less than 8 years in duration, with no children and no financial dependency. No maintenance or support payments are allowed, and there are limits on the value of joint assets and incomes. Most divorces are more complicated, but this doesn’t mean you need a lawyer. It only means there are more details involved, as well as more financial documentation and paperwork.

If you or your spouse are contesting the divorce for one of the seven allowable statutory causes, a DIY Illinois divorce may not be the way to go. It is advisable to hire the services of an attorney who can help through the inevitable complications arising from a contested dissolution of marriage.

Nobody in their right mind says that getting divorced from the person you married is easy – it’s not. But the process itself doesn’t have to add to the pain. Do-it-Yourself divorce programs may be just what you need to ensure a smooth transition to a new future.

Do it yourself divorce in Illinois