Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) is contained in
Chapter 750 of the Illinois Compiled is further divided into eight Parts with
each containing multiple Sections.  This act views divorce as a dissolution of
a partnership and thus calls divorce "dissolution of marriage."

A person must meet the jurisdiction and venue requirements before a
divorce can be granted.

Jurisdiction.  A person must reside in the state of Illinois for 90 days before
filing for divorce.

Venue.  The divorce must be filed in the county where either the Husband or
the Wife resides.

A spouse must prepare and file a document requesting the divorce.  This
document is commonly called the divorce petition but is formally known as
the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.  The IMDMA dictates the specific
information that must be contained in the petition.  Failure to properly include
all required information may result in the petition being dismissed (thrown out
of court).

Illinois now only has the grounds of Irreconcilable Difference.  Per the
statute, if the parties live separate and apart for a continuous period of not
less than 6 months immediately preceding the entry of the judgment
dissolving the marriage, there is an irrebuttable presumption that the
requirement of irreconcilable differences has been met.

Once the spouse has prepared the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the
petition must be filed at a courthouse to begin the divorce process.  Once
again venue dictates which courthouses would be acceptable under the
IMDMA.  The Clerk of the Circuit Clerk in every county determines the cost
for filing a divorce petition.  A spouse must either pay the fee or file a
paupers petition stating that the spouse meets the requirements of poverty
and a judge orders the fee to be waived.

The spouse filing the divorce must "serve" the other spouse with a copy of
the divorce paperwork unless the spouse files his/her own appearance.
Service of process, as it is properly called, is dictated by the Illinois Supreme
Court rules and the Code of Civil Procedure.  Generally the sheriff in the
county in which the divorce is filed is authorized to "serve" the petition upon
the spouse. A private process server can also be used for the service of

Divorce procedure differs vastly from county to county and minutely from
judge to judge within each county. A divorce officially begins when one
spouse files the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.  Then the
spouse is served with the petition and the spouse who is served must file a
response with the Circuit Clerk and pay the fee to participate in the divorce.

Uncontested.  If the divorce is fully agreed upon, the parties can
immediately proceed to a hearing to finalize the divorce.  The parties must
prove the minimum requirements listed above (jurisdiction, venue, grounds).  
The parties must present the proper documents to the court detailing the
parties agreement on
financial issues and children, if applicable, and
provide the presiding judge with a
judgment to sign.  The parties must also
fill out the Certificate of Dissolution at the time the divorce is finalized.

Contested.  If every aspect of the divorce is not agreed to, then the parties
must utilize the court system to resolve the contested issues.  The exact
procedures necessary to resolve these issues depends on the presiding
judge and the county in which the divorce is taking place.  Eventually the
divorce will be finalized and a
judgment entered.   The length of time
involved to resolve the divorce will vary depending on the number of
contested issues, the
attorneys representing the couple, the number of
cases on the court's docket, etc.

If children were born during or adopted during a marriage, then custody must
be determined along with the exact times each parent has the child/chidlren
and the financial obligations of each parent.  The
Illinois Supreme Court
Rules set forth the specific rules for divorces with children including the
requirement of a
one-time class, time constraints, and the exact procedure
to determine custody.  In addition to these rules, statutory guidelines exist to
determine temporary issues (while the divorce is pending) and permanent
issues of divorcing couples with children.  Financial expenses of the couple's
children must be determined which can include child support, health
insurance, medical expenses not covered by health insurance, daycare,
extracurricular activities, life insurance policies, and educational expenses
ranging from registration fees to tuition for private schooling or college.  The
application of the rules and statutes vary from county to county and judge to
judge within each county.

This is the term given to the process through which the assets, debts,
earnings, and property of the Wife and the Husband are determined is called

.  Both the Husband and the Wife must fully and honestly disclose
all information necessary to resolve the divorce either by agreement or by
ruling of the Court.  The process can be though voluntary disclosure, called
discovery, or through formal discovery methods.  The use of formal
discovery generally increases the length and cost of the divorce.

COURT APPEARANCES.  At least one court appearance is required t
o obtain a divorce in Illinois.  If the divorce is not completely agreed upon, m
ore than one court appearance will be required.  The presence of the d
ivorcing couple is required in court unless an attorney has been hired for e
ach spouse.  An attorney should let the client know whether the client must b
e present at each court date.  Some judges require the presence of t
he divorcing couple in court for certain types of court dates.

When the divorce is completed (finalized), the order granting the divorce is
called a
Judgment.   The terms of the divorce are set forth in the Marital
Settlement Agreement, detailing all financial and property issues, and, if
the couple has children, the details of custody and visitation are set forth in
Parenting Agreement. Both of these documents can be incorporate
into the Judgment  making them orders of the Court.

In a divorce, the wife can return to her maiden name without any a
dditional costs.  The Judgment must state the Wife is resuming use of her m
aiden name.  If the Judgment does not contain the provision allowing the
Wife to resume her maiden name, the Wife must open a new court case
requesting her name change and pay the filing fee to the courthouse and
pay for a
notice to be published in the newspaper.

Attorney Angela Lund-Logan handles divorce cases in Boone and
Winnebago counties.  Limiting her practice allows her to better serve her
clients, Angela Lund-Logan is familiar with the
local court rules and, most
importantly, how the law is applied by the judges in these counties.  

Angela Lund-Logan has experience with all aspects of divorce having
represented the Petitioner, the Respondent, the Husband, the Wife, and
children as a Guardian ad Litem.  Being divorced herself, Angela
Lund-Logan understands the emotional aspects of divorce and aims to
alleviate much of the emotional turmoil resulting from a
If your marriage is having troubles,
seeking a divorce is not always the first
response.  Many couples have saved their marriage through
counseling.  The decision to file for divorce should not be taken lightly and
speaking with an
attorney can assist in this difficult decision.
You need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.  An More
importantly, you will know what NOT to do when served with divorce papers.

Reacting without knowing the law could:
  • Harm your ability to obtain custody
  • Reduce your claim on the marital residence
  • Create improper spending claims
  • Increase your legal fees trying to repair the damage your actions

Extreme emotional responses might result in:
  • Arrest
  • Criminal charges
  • Issuance of an Order of Protection
  • Supervised visitation
  • Lengthy delays in seeing your children
  • Increase your legal fees trying to repair the damage your actions

Failing to respond quickly enough could:
  • Prevent you from participating in the divorce
  • Delay visitation
  • Result in entry of orders that hurt your case
  • Increase your legal fees trying to repair the damage your actions

After meeting with an attorney, you will know who to contact if you are served
with divorce papers.  You will also know:
  • Divorce process
  • How to avoid a default judgment
  • Funds needed to hire the attorney

If you have been served with divorce papers, you MUST seek
legal counsel
immediately to preserve your legal rights.  Legal advice could prevent you
from making decisions based on emotions that may place you at a
disadvantage later in the divorce.
For further information click
Attorney Angela Lund-Logan, Attorneys & Lawyers, Loves Park, IL
Website of the Law Office of Angela Lund-Logan