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Can I file for an uncontested divorce in Cook County, Illinois without my spouse being present?

Chicago, IL |

Me and my wife have been living in different parts of the country for months now and its time for a divorce. We have no kids, no property,etc. On the court website it says both parties must be present but she does not live anywhere near Chicago and won't be able to get here anytime soon. Is there anyway around this or a different method to completing the divorce without her being here.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You can file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and send your wife all of the necessary paperwork to proceed with an uncontested divorce (Affidavit and Waiver of 2 year requirement if you have been separated less than 2 years, Certification and Agreement by Counsel, a completed Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage and a blank Appearance form). Your wife could sign all of the necessary papers and send her Appearance in to be filed with the Clerk. Once your wife has signed everything, you can appear in Court for the "Prove-Up", where your divorce is finalized and your wife does not have to be present. You do want to send your wife notification of the prove-up date though as the Judge may ask for proof that your wife knew about the date and just chose not to be present. You should seek an attorney to make sure you follow the proper procedure.

    This response is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.


  2. stephanie gave you good accurate advice. if you are not comfortable doing this yourself. hire a lawyer. the fee should not be a lot for a simple uncontested agreed to divorce.


  3. You can file as Petitioner and she can file an Entry of Apperance as Respodent if she is willing to cooperate. After the Petition for Dissolution and her Entry of Appearance are filed the next step is to set the matter for hearing and you appear and testify. You will also need to prepare a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage for the Court to enter. If she won't agree to file the Entry of Apperance you need a summons to have her served with the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. At the point where 30 days have passed after her being served and she has not filed any pleading in the case you can set the matter for hearing and send her Notice of Hearing via Certified US Mail. At the hearing if she does not show up and object, then you can testify and present the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage to the Court to enter. In the event things go constested call my assistant Dan London at 312-807-3990 to set up a private telephone consultation. At the consultation we can discuss the confidential details we need to craft a strategic plan. These details should not be broadcast over the Internet.

    This is a general answer and does not address the specifics of your individual case. To give the specific answer you need our firm needs you to come in for a consultation.

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