These instructions apply to marriages and civil unions. If the instructions say:

  • “marriage” it also means “civil union”; AND

  • “spouse” it also means “partner.”

Can I ask the court for a divorce in Illinois?

You can ask for a divorce if:

  • You are married;

  • You or your spouse has lived in Illinois for at least 90 days; AND

  • There is no other divorce case already filed and still pending anywhere else (not dismissed).

NOTE: If your spouse is on active military service, you can ask for a divorce, but the court might not be able to give you a divorce.

What forms do I need to ask the court for a divorce?

Below are some of the common forms used in divorce cases. Depending on your specific situation, you may not need all of the forms listed or you may need other forms not listed here.

Petition for Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce No Children): asks the court for a divorce and gives information needed to begin a divorce case.

Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage*: lists information about your case that is sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health after your divorce is final.

Summons: tells your spouse that you are asking the court for a divorce.



Entry of Appearance: is completed by your spouse to tell the court that they do not need to receive a Summons.


Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce No Children): is used by the judge to grant or deny your divorce. If granted, the Judgment will also divide property, assign debt, and determine whether spousal support will be paid.

What information will help me fill out the court forms?

  • Date you were married;

  • Date you were physically separated;

  • City, county, state, and country where you were married;

  • Current home address for your spouse or other address where your spouse can be found;

  • List of all personal property, including bank accounts that you and your spouse own together or separately;

  • List of all real estate that you and your spouse have an interest in together or separately own (with or without a mortgage), purchasing contract for deed, etc.;

  • List of all claims for money for injuries or damages that you or your spouse have suffered;

  • List of all pension and retirement accounts that you or your spouse have; AND

  • List of all the debts that you and your spouse have made since you got married, together or separately.

What court costs will I need to pay to ask the court for a divorce?

  • Filing Fee: to file your forms with the Circuit Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county where you are filing your divorce.

  • Service Fee: to serve the Summons on your spouse.

  • Certified Copy Fee (optional): to get certified copies of the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce No Children).

  • Transcript Fee: to get a written recording of your divorce court hearing. Some counties require this.