What is an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois?

Simply put, an uncontested divorce in Illinois is a divorce where the spouses agree to every aspect of their divorce, or dissolution of marriage. But, marriage can be complicated. As a Chicago divorce lawyer and Illinois family law attorney, I suggest you peace sign for uncontested divorce in Illinoisbecome familiar with exactly what you will have to agree to in your divorce case.

For an uncontested divorce in Illinois, spouses will have to reach agreement in the following areas:

  1. Child custody: Will parents share “joint legal custody,” so that they are both legal guardians?
  2. Children’s residence: Where will be the children’s official residence?
  3. Child support: How much child support will be paid? And to who?
  4. Dividing assets: How will the marriage’s assets be divided? Who gets what? Should some of it be sold, and the proceeds distributed? Who gets the house?
  5. Dividing debt: Marriages can be dissolved easier than debt. Who’s going to pay the bills?
  6. Alimony: In Illinois, the legal term for alimony is “spousal maintenance.” How much alimony should be paid, if any, and for how long?
Even if your marriage has taken on a certain amount of acrimony, you and your spouse might be able to come to agreement for the benefit of everyone involved. In the end, an uncontested divorce is about pragmatics: putting the past behind you and moving ahead as quickly as possible.
If you think an uncontested divorce might be a possibility, I can help you develop an approach to use in bringing up the topic with your spouse. See the post I wrote titled Phases of an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois for a bit more information on the most affordable way to get divorced in Illinois.  I also wrote a reasonable comprehensive articled titled, “FAQ: Fast and Affordable Uncontested Divorce in Illinois.” Or, you can contact me for a free consultation.

About the author: Contact Illinois family law attorney David Wolkowitz at 312-554-5433 or online. He is a family law and divorce attorney serving Chicago and the Counties of Cook, Champaign, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. Areas of practice include divorce, uncontested divorce, child custody, visitation, spousal maintenance, child support, and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act (the “UCCJEA”).

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Maggy Jun 5, 2012 @ 14:32

    I want to file for divorce been marride since 2008 and seperated 2010. We have no children nor assets. If you can email me back and let me know how much it will coast i would appreciate it thank you.

    • Maggy,

      I do offer a flat-fee uncontested divorce in Chicago; it is an affordable option. Keep in mind that you have to truly agree on everything. Sometimes, people think they have discussed all the issued, but have not. Please call me, Chicago divorce lawyer David Wolkowitz, at Three-One-Two-554-5433 or here so I can discuss your specific situation.

      Dave Wolkowitz

  • TJ Oct 12, 2012 @ 8:46

    My husband and I have been married since 2005 but separated in 2009. We have two children together and want joint custody of the kids. What is the easiest way for us to file a divorce?

    • Richard,

      The easiest way for you to get divorce would likely be to call me, an uncontested divorce lawyer in Chicago. While you could try to do it yourself, that will involve stress, confusion, time (going to court, instead of work), and worse – you may not address issues that could cause a problem after the divorce is final. When I help clients with an uncontested divorce in Illinois, my clients can go to court only once – at the end.

      You can contact me, Chicago divorce lawyer David Wolkowitz, online through this form, or you may call Three-One-Two-554-5433.

  • Kim Oct 24, 2012 @ 8:13

    My husband and I have been together since 2009 and have been separated for the last 6 months. I want to file for divorce, but of course there is the problem of money. The other factor is that it would have to be filed in Will County. Is there a difference in charge by county?

  • takisha Nov 1, 2012 @ 7:42

    I’ve been married for ten years, separated nine years, and we have one child together. I stay in Saint Clair County. I would like to know how much it costs to file for divorce.

    • St. Clair County posts its fees for filing for divorce here, it looks to be $246 dollars and is listed as the fee for filing a “petition for dissolution of marriage.”

      If you would like a referral to an Illinois family law attorney in your area, please contact me here.

      Chicago family law attorney David Wolkowitz

  • Rachel Nov 5, 2012 @ 13:06

    My husband and I have finally decided to divorce after being married for three years. We would like an uncontested divorce. We sleep in separate rooms and will be separating all shared accounts (bank, phone, etc.) this week. We also have a 2 year old daughter. The problem is that I am a housewife and cannot afford to move out. I have been actively seeking employment, but I am afraid that living under the same roof will prevent us from getting a divorce.

    My husband also said that he would like for our daughter to live with me, yet share joint custody – which is fine with me if the judge would agree to those terms as well. I am not going to ask for the house (my name is not on the mortgage, and we live in an undesirable neighborhood;so I am hoping to move to a better location) or car in the divorce. I just want to move on with my life!

    I cannot even figure out the Petition For Dissolution of Marriage papers I have to file!

    And would lawyer fees come out of his salary since I cannot afford to pay for one?

    • Ronda,

      As an Chicago divorce lawyer, I can tell you that they way you want to approach the divorce is potentially the best way to have an uncontested divorce in Illinois.

      Spouses can live in the same house and still get divorce. You may have heard of the 2 year waiting period for a divorce – meaning that parties must live “separate and apart” for a period of 2 years before an Illinois court will grant a dissolution of marriage. First, it is important to know that if both spouses agree, the 2 year waiting period can be reduced to 6 months. Also, the requirement of living “separate and apart” does not mean spouses must live in different households – husband and wife can in fact live in the same household, just as “roommates.”

      A judge can order one spouse to pay for the attorney fees of the other spouse for various reason, including if one spouse does not work. However, the spouse who does not work should consider that he or she can pay for an attorney with money from a jointly held savings account, or other “marital property.”

      You can contact me at Three-One-Two-554-5433. Or, contact me via my online contact form.

      David Wolkowitz

  • Anna Dec 16, 2012 @ 10:08

    I have been married 2 years & we’ve decided to get a divorce. There are no kids, money, or property involved therefore it should very easy & simple. So what are your suggestions on the route we should take?

    • I suggest you contact me, and if it is as simple as you believe, I can probably help you complete the divorce in under three weeks. However, I should caution you that often people think they have agreed on all relevant issues, yet in reality, they have not so much as discussed all relevant issues.

      You can contact me at Three-One-Two-554-5433. Or, contact me via my online contact form.

      David Wolkowitz

  • Zhang Jan 15, 2013 @ 4:07

    How much does it cost for an a simple uncontested divorce?

    No assets, no children ,nothing but divorce?

    My wife lives in China.

  • Jessie Jan 21, 2013 @ 13:44

    Why is it that no one can ever say for sure how much a divorce will cost? My mother is helping my daughter pay for her divorce, and she likes to know exactly what something is going to cost. However, the attorney can only sell my daughter “hours” which really means nothing to someone who’s never gone through a divorce before. Attorneys should be willing to help their clients find the most cost effective way to get a divorce without all of the hassle, because an attorney is in a service profession. I’m sure an uncontested divorce should be less expensive than a divorce that has a lot of divisions to make, but for an uncontested one, why can’t anyone know the price?

  • sandra Feb 2, 2013 @ 14:37

    I’ve been separated for three years with my husband i was fixing his papers for him but he betrayed me by sleeping with my daughter and now i really need help asap how much do u charge and can u help me plz

  • Ahsley Feb 19, 2013 @ 2:22

    Odd situation my boyfriend of1 year has been separated from his wife for 2 years now. We both want the divorce to be final but he don’t think he can afford a divorce. They have no children, no property or any personal affects together they both agree they just want to be apart completely. what would it cost in the state of Illinois to file a no contest divorce. Would payment arrangements be available with with certain lawyers

  • Kendra Feb 26, 2013 @ 18:31

    I’ve loaded your website in Several completely different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Would you mind contacting me the name of your hosting company? My personal e-mail is: kendrakessler@gmail.com. I will even sign up through your own affiliate link if you’d like.

  • Lee Apr 18, 2013 @ 22:19

    I have not seen or heard from my legal ‘wife’ for over 10 years and have no way of contacting her. I have met someone else and would like to move forward with my life. I need to get a divorce as soon as possible. What can I do?

    • David Wolkowitz Sep 14, 2014 @ 18:27


      You can get divorced in Illinois even if the other person does not participate. Contact me to get started.

  • Rick Jun 7, 2013 @ 7:11

    I married a Canadian in 2000. We have two boys 13 and 10. We separated in 2008. She has been residing in Canada with kids. I had to get custody agreement and child support settled in Canada, but they said I would have to file for divorce in Illinois. This will be uncontested. Can you estimate the cost for a simple divorce?

  • Alex Jul 31, 2013 @ 20:08

    I’ve been married for almost about three months now.
    I want to divorce because I have so much more to look forward to,
    I Have no kids, we don’t share much, just a car that I don’t mind not having.
    His gym membership is connected to my bank account, that’s all.
    I’m not asking anything from him.
    Basically not fighting for anything, I don’t want his money,
    Roughly estimating, around how much will I pay?

  • Cyndi Melanson Sep 4, 2013 @ 15:03

    I would like to file for a divorce, been married since 2007, seperated since 2008 and haven’t seen him since as well. Money is real tight also. Can this be done if I don’t know where he is?

  • Christina Oct 26, 2013 @ 0:32

    I would like to file for divorce, I married my husband in November 2011 and we separated in April 2012. I live in Chicago IL. We both agree on the divorce and want it to be fast and easy. I don’t know where to start. we have no children, house , debt or anything together. What I would like to know is how much it would cost and if I need to have a lawyer? Also I am expecting my first child with my former boyfriend is this going to be a problem?

    • admin Oct 29, 2013 @ 13:40


      I offer flat fees for uncontested divorce; I can give you a quote if you call me. What matters in your divorce is your agreement with your husband. Other factors, such your pregnancy, do not matter to the court, except to the extent that the child’s paternity may be in question (but that will be handle when the child is born).

      David Wolkowitz
      Contact Attorney Wolkowitz online

  • Debra Nendza Nov 25, 2013 @ 21:44

    How do I go about getting a court ordered drug test (preferably hair) on my ex husband, a chronic relapser (crack) who has never been jailed or hospitalized due to his addiction? I think he is using, friends who know about drugs and addiction all have said he is. And I done being an enabler. Our divorce was final in sept 2012 by default (he never responded or showed up to court) I have sole custody of our almost 4 yr old son, my ex has supervised (by me) visits, is a “seasonal” father and our schedule was set as reserved due to his crazy work schedule, the weather and vacations. We both live in Cook county. Do I need evidence? What are the fees? I can’t afford to hire a lawyer and I don’t qualify for legal aid/assistance (my ex qualifies though) I just need some advise how to get this done. Thank you.

  • Jonathan Dec 30, 2013 @ 14:21

    My wife and I would like to file for uncontested divorce. Is there an income restriction?

    • Jonathan,

      Anyone can get an uncontested divorce. In fact, court’s want even high-net-worth couples to get an uncontested divorce. Why? Courts are clogged as it is. When people get divorced by agreement (ie an uncontested divorce), they move through the system quickly.

      Please visit the article page and click the Google +1 button.

  • Melissa Jul 20, 2014 @ 21:31

    Hi, i have a question would like to ask, me and my husband want a divorce, we got married in 2006 and we have one kid. If we both agree upon on everything, do we need to be separated for 6 months in order to file for uncontested divorce? We want our divorce done as soon as possible. Thank you.

    • David Wolkowitz Sep 14, 2014 @ 18:22


      The “separation” period is very misunderstood. In fact, you both can still live in the same house and meet the 6 month “separate and apart” waiting period. Contact me if you would like to get started with the divorce in Illinois.

      David Wolkowitz
      Contact Attorney Wolkowitz online

  • twyla Jul 29, 2014 @ 11:42

    I have a friend who has been married since i think 99 or 2000 and left her maybe a year later they have a child together she is not going to contest the divorce but the thing is that he is incarcerated at the moment how would he proceed in this matter and he lives in kentucky and she lives in Illinois..

    • Dave Wolkowitz Sep 14, 2014 @ 18:18


      Your friend’s incarcerated husband can sign necessary documents in prison. Or, the divorce may proceed without his appearance. She can contact me to get started with the uncontested divorce in Illinois.

      David Wolkowitz
      Contact Attorney Wolkowitz online