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How long does it take to get divorce in illinois

How long does it take to get divorce in illinois


Obtaining a divorce in Illinois involves several steps and considerations. Understanding the timeline, legal requirements, and available resources can help make the process smoother. This comprehensive guide provides valuable insights into how long it takes to get a divorce in Illinois and offers expert advice on navigating the journey.

Step 1: Residency Requirements

To file for divorce in Illinois, either you or your spouse must have resided in the state for at least 90 days.

Step 2: Filing the Petition

The divorce process begins by filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the circuit court of the county where either spouse resides.

Step 3: Service of Process

The non-filing spouse must be served with a copy of the divorce petition and a summons, providing legal notice of the proceedings.

Step 4: Waiting Period

Illinois law imposes a mandatory waiting period of six months from the date the divorce petition is filed to when it can be finalized.

Step 5: Property Division and Alimony

If the spouses cannot agree on property division and alimony, this phase involves negotiation and possibly court hearings.

Step 6: Child Custody and Support

For couples with minor children, child custody and support arrangements must be established. The court’s primary concern is the child’s best interests.

Step 7: Finalizing the Divorce

Once all issues are resolved, the court will issue a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, finalizing the divorce.

Factors Affecting the Timeline

Several factors can influence how long it takes to get a divorce in Illinois:

  • Uncontested vs. Contested: An uncontested divorce with agreement on major issues tends to be quicker than a contested one.
  • Complexity of Issues: The more complex the issues, such as property division or child custody, the longer the process may take.
  • Court Caseload: The court’s schedule and workload can affect the timeline.

Useful Resources Links

For further assistance on navigating the divorce process in Illinois, consider these resources:

  1. Illinois Legal Aid Online
  2. Illinois State Bar Association – Family Law


How long does it take to get a divorce in Illinois?

The minimum waiting period is six months from the date the divorce petition is filed. However, the overall timeline can vary based on factors such as complexity and court availability.

Can I speed up the waiting period?

The six-month waiting period is mandatory and cannot be shortened.

Can I file for divorce without a lawyer?

Yes, you can file without a lawyer, but consulting an attorney is advisable, especially if there are complex issues involved.

Can I get divorced if my spouse doesn’t agree?

Yes, you can proceed with a divorce even if your spouse contests it. The process may take longer if the divorce is contested.

Can I modify the divorce decree later?

Certain aspects, such as child custody and support, can be modified if circumstances change.

Is mediation recommended for divorce in Illinois?

Yes, mediation is often recommended as it can help resolve issues amicably and potentially expedite the process.


Getting a divorce in Illinois requires a thorough understanding of the legal process and the factors that affect the timeline. By being well-informed and utilizing available resources, you can navigate the divorce journey with confidence and clarity.

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