Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage information and instructions can be obtained within the Circuit Clerk’s Office.
General information concerning Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
A dissolution of marriage is a serious legal step. If you are considering such a proceeding, you should note the following:
- It is in the best interests of each of the parties to consult attorneys regarding the dissolution of their marriage.
- You should not rely exclusively on the brochure within the Circuit Clerk’s Office. The brochure is intended only as a guide for self-representation.
- Marriage counseling services are available to you in your community.
- If you use a joint simplified proceeding, you will lose any right you may have to maintenance (commonly known as alimony). Neither party can in the future obtain maintenance from the other.
- A Judgment of Dissolution (divorce) permanently settles all financial rights arising out of your marriage, including the right to property held in the name of your husband or wife and the right to support (maintenance or alimony) from your spouse. You will have no right or appeal. Such a judgment may only be set aside on grounds of fraud, duress, accident, mistake or other grounds at law or in equity.
- You and your spouse remain married and cannot remarry until a Judgment dissolving your marriage is signed by the Judge.
Who may use the Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage procedure?
To use the Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage procedure, the following must apply to you and your spouse:
- Irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. All efforts at reconciliation would not be in the best interest of you and your spouse.
- You and your spouse must have lived separate and apart for at least 6 months.
- The duration of your marriage cannot exceed 8 years and either you or your spouse (or both) must have lived in the State of Illinois for at least 90 days immediately prior to filing for dissolution.
- No children were born or adopted by you and your spouse during your relationship, and the wife is not now pregnant.
- Your joint, annual, gross income from all sources must be less than $60,000.00. Neither party may have a gross annual income in excess of $30,000.00. The total value of marital property you and your spouse own, less any encumbrances (amount) owed on the property, (such as the amount owed on a car loan) must be less than $50,000.00 Neither you nor your spouse may own real estate or retirement benefits unless the benefits are exclusively held in individual retirement accounts, and the combined value of the accounts is less than $10,000.
- You and your spouse must have disclosed to each other all assets and liabilities each of you have and have disclosed all tax returns filed during the marriage.
- You and your spouse must sign a written agreement dividing between yourselves all marital assets worth more than $100.00 and dividing responsibility for all debts and liabilities. You must divide the property and sign and exchange all documents (such as automobile titles, etc.) necessary to carry out the agreement before any court hearing.
- You and your spouse each must be willing to permanently give up any right to maintenance.
There are 5 forms which must be completed for obtaining a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage:
- Joint Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
- Joint Affidavit Regarding Separation of the Parties, Division of Property and Waiver of Bifurcated Hearing
- Agreement as to Assets and Debts
- Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage
- State of Illinois Certificate of Dissolution