How to File for Divorce in DuPage County


How to file a divorce in DuPage County generally involves the following steps listed below. Filing a divorce case often starts with hiring a divorce attorney and paying large retainer or fee to cover the court litigation.  If you, however, are looking to file for divorce in DuPage County without a divorce attorney, mediation is a great alternative for you. Book your free joint mediation orientation call to learn more.  

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1. Options. Know or learn about your options and decide, we can assess your case and help you decide on the most appropriate method of divorce to meet your legal goals: 

    1. Collaborative Divorce;
    2. Mediation;
    3. Uncontested Divorce;
    4. Litigation;
    5. Parent Coordination; or
    6. Divorce Financial Analyst.
How to File for Divorce in DuPage County

Whether you decided to negotiate and settle your divorce outside of the divorce courthouse, you will still need to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and this is customarily handled by your attorney at the end of negotiations or at the start of the case if you need additional protection by the divorce court.

2. Residency. Know the residency requirements because you will need to testify how long you have been an Illinois resident.  You might want to also review the post “When to Get a Divorce” for additional information.

3. Petition Drafting. Do your research and prepare the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or hire our firm to quickly prepare a custom-tailored Petition for Dissolution of Marriage on your behalf. Be careful if you choose to prepare the Petition on your own, there have been many petitions rejected by the Clerk and the Divorce Court for including incorrect information.

4. Grounds.  The most common incorrect information in a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage prepared by a self represented party is grounds.  Many times our clients who approach us after realizing legal work is overwhelming have also incorrectly plead grounds such as the grounds for divorce being mental cruelty. With our divorce attorney, this error could have been avoided as Illinois no longer recognizes mental cruelty as a ground. That does not mean that if you have facts that support mental cruelty you cannot get divorced, you can and our divorce attorney can explain and prepare you for the appropriate testimony to obtain a divorce where mental cruelty is present.

5. Summons. Prepare the Summons, if needed. In settlement based divorce cases, a spouse often voluntarily files the self represented or pro se appearance because the divorce is agreed upon and thus the summons is not needed. If the divorce is not agreed upon or extra protection is needed from the court, our firm can quickly prepare and serve upon a spouse the summons. A summons will start the clock running and create a deadline for the spouse to formally answer or appear in court. We can help you understand why this deadline is important for obtaining a divorce when a spouse is ignoring your efforts to discuss the need for a divorce of behaving in a manner that you must leave and obtain a divorce.

6. Filing Documents. Take the original Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and three copies, the Summons (if needed), and a credit card or check for the filing fee to the DuPage County Circuit Court Clerk's Office. Now that all filings must be electronic, the clerk will direct you to a computer or assist you with filing your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Our firm, however, can quickly file your Petition electronically and learn your assigned courtroom and court date in as little as 1 business day.

If you find that you are unable to afford an attorney to expedite your case and fight for your parenting rights parenting and the accumulation of assets or the contribution to your debts, you may want to consider reviewing the Joint Simplied Dissolution of Marriage information for DuPage County.

We can help with all of the above. Our firm, however, recognizes that payment of attorneys fees can be difficult for the relatively short duration of a divorce.  We, therefore, offer flat fees, payment plans, and accept credit cards for budgeting purposes.  The investment in legal fees for the relatively short amount of time you need to work with our divorce attorney out weighs the hardship experiences by self represented parties needing to take time off of work or away from family to research, prepare, file documents, and attend regular court appearances.

Contact us today to get started on your new beginning.

If you are considering a change because of a family law issue or a divorce, you may want to also read about our services for: Divorce, Uncontested Divorce, Collaborative Divorce, Family Law Mediation, Child Custody, Child Support, Client Wellness, and Legal Wellness Services.

If you are looking up How to File for Divorce in DuPage County, you may need assistance with your divorce or family law matter. We can take away the frustration and overwhelming legal knowledge needed to complete your divorce. Check out our comprehensive services here. It would also be worth your time and investment to schedule a consultation and planning session to determine how best to approach your family law matter. Contact us online or at 630-891-2478 today.


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We offer in-person and remote meetings with clients.  Now more than ever is the best time to have a divorce attorney to navigate court restrictions, reopenings, and backlog of cases. 

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Birt Law is committed to answering your questions about Family Law and Mediation issues. We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

The Law Firm of Erin N. Birt, P.C.
2100 Manchester Rd, #954
Wheaton, IL 60187
630-597-2231 (fax)