Step 1: Start your Divorce
You will need to let the Court know you would like to divorce your spouse. This is done by filing a petition for divorce.
Fill out the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce NO Children).
Efile or bring your completed form to the Clerk’s office at the Winnebago County Courthouse.
The fee to file a divorce is several hundred dollars but you may ask the court to waive that if you can prove you have an economic need. The Application for Waiver of Court Fees form is available here or at the Self Help Center.
Step 2: Notify your Spouse
You will need to let your spouse know you’ve filed for divorce. This is done in two ways.
- Summons for Service
Your spouse will be served with a Summons & Petition. This can be handled at the Clerk’s office when you file your petition.
2. Waiver & Consent
If your spouse signs the Waiver & Consent form you do not have to serve the paperwork on your spouse. This will significantly speed up the divorce process by granting you an earlier court date. Bring this form with you to the Clerk’s office once signed. Notary required.
Step 3: Receive your Court Date
Your court date will be set depending on the method you use to notify your spouse, described in Step 2.
- Summons for Service
You will receive your court date when you file your petition, which will be listed on the summons. This will typically be 6 months from the date of filing.
2. Waiver and Consent
You will suggest a court date to the Clerk when you file your petition. You must also communicate this court date to your spouse.
Step 4: Prepare for Court
Negotiate property & debt
Finalize these agreements using the following forms listed below.
- Financial Affidavit, one for each party
- Maintenance Worksheet (optional, use if requesting or judge ordered)
- Calculate maintenance by referring to 750 ILCS 5/504(b-1)(1) or by using maintenance calculation software programs. Print and bring with you to court.
- Proposed Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage
- Certificate of Dissolution
- You can find the Certificate of Dissolution at the Clerk’s office.
You must bring these with you or submit them at least 3 days in advance if your hearing is to be held virtually. Failure to bring these may extend the time you spend in court!
If you don’t agree on the matters included in the forms above, the case will go to trial and the judge will make decisions for you!