The joint simplified divorce is a special type of divorce that a couple can get in a limited situation.
What is a simple divorce? There are a number of factors that qualify you for a simple divorce. Take our quick quiz HERE to determine if you are eligible. If you are not eligible, some of these steps will still apply, so it is worth browsing through.
REMINDER: THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. THIS IS INFORMATION. THIS IS NOT MEANT TO SUBSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE FOR YOUR PERSONAL SITUATION.
Step 1: Gather Forms
You can easily find links to Chicagoland-area-county’s forms on my DIY Resources page. Once you choose your county, you will need to download a series of forms to get the case started.
- Joint Petition for Simplified Dissolution
- Affidavit in Support of Joint Petition for Simplified Dissolution
- Judgment for Joint Simplified Dissolution
- Domestic Relations Cover Sheet
Step 2: Fill in Forms
Although you do not have to sit in the same room with your future ex-spouse, you both need to fill out the same forms. One way or another you will have to exchange the documents. Once both parties have filled out all of the forms, you will need multiple copies to bring with you to Court.
Step 3: Filing
After everything is filled out and you have made copies, you should head to the Court in your jurisdiction. Cook County, for example, has numerous locations and you should choose based on where you live.
When you arrive, you will need to go to the Clerk. Now, the Court requires e-filing for almost everyone. If you have trouble online and/or have limited access to online resources, you can fill out another form while you are there, to excuse you from e-filing.
FILING COSTS MONEY. If you are really limited on resources, you can also request, while in the Clerk’s office, a fee waiver. The fee waiver form is not a guarantee and you may still be required to pay a fee to file your divorce.
You will be given a hearing date after you file. You must BOTH go to Court on that day.
Step 4: Hearing
The final step is attending Court to finalize your divorce. You will need to both step up in front of the Judge and affirm everything you said in your Petition.
If the Judge finds that you were both eligible for the joint simplified divorce and that it is fair to grant the judgment, he or she will sign and stamp the judgment and you will get a copy. At this point, you are officially divorced.
If you want to get started with a DIY Divorce but want a little extra help along the way, Harmening Law offers a variety of small-scale and affordable options.