Would someone please let me know if I have this right? My wife and I wanted a divorce and we have agreed to everything.... (no kids, no real estate)
1. I got to the courthouse and file my petition and other docs - including the 2 year waiver and uncontested form... (does she still need to file an appearance if I file those last two documents? does she still need to be served?)
2. I go get my date from the clerk
3. I get up in front of the judge and have my divorce with my marriage settlement agreement (does she need to come to that date? can I have her signatures on our agreements notarized?)
yes, she needs to file an appearance or the court will not have power, jurisdiction over her.
get for her to be in court with you even if she signed. be sure to send her a notice of motion for the court date that you will seek entry of the attached judgment for dissolution of marriage.
do a judgment in addititon to the msa.
you have to testify to the necessary items in 750 ilcs 5/401 to get the divorce.
Family Law Attorney
1. Yes, she has to file an Appearance and pay a filing fee - $206 in cook county.
2. Yes, you get your court date from the clerk (or motion counter if filed at the Daley Center). You tell them you need a "prove-up" date. You may need to show them copies of the Uncontested form.
3. You need to present a proposed Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage - which can incorporate and make reference to your Marital Settlement Agreement. (You'll need at least three copies. There is no Judgment form - you need to draft this yourself. She is not required under the rules to appear on the court date if you can prove she signed the documents (notarized helps) and has notice of the court date. This will require you file a "Notice of Motion" form with the prove-up date, time, courtroom and courthouse address. I would say it's just better to have her appear to acknowledge her agreement with everything. However, chances are you did not fill everything out and address everything properly but the Judge may be able to cure small defects by having BOTH parties testify on the record before a court reporter. If your wife does not show up you'll end up coming back again. If all else fails, hire a lawyer to draft all of your paperwork and give you step-by-step instructions. Good luck.
This response shall not be construed as specific legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship or privilege. Further, this response is not intended to solicit legal fees.