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How do i file a motion for contempt in cook county IL? Unfortunately, I have to do this pro se for financial reasons

Evanston, IL |

My cook county IL divorce decree specifies that my spouse has to divide our remaining joint assets (under his control), and has to buy out my share of the house.
the decree specified the date when my ex was supposed to make the payments to me.
the deadline has passed, and my ex has not divided the assets, despite repeated written requests.
i have 3 questions:
1) whats the best legal approach to forcing my ex to comply with the divorce decree and pay me my share of the joint assets?
2) if i need to file a motion for contempt, how do i do this if i am acting pro se? are there any sample motions out there for me to use?
3) is there something special i need to do if i wish to represent myself in court?
thanks- i need the advice!

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

There are no forms or samples customized to your situation. Most judges will request that you obtain an attorney. If you insist on going pro se, you will have to learn all the rules and present the motions, legal briefs and evidence just like a professional lawyer would. The judge will not give you a break because you are pro se. He or she has to maintain proper courtroom decorum and cannot appear to be favoring or assisting one side.

It may not seem so now, but in the end, you will be better off financially if you hire a skilled lawyer as your advocate.


The guru is correct, 511 petitions outside of child support almost always need an attorney due to their complexity. Otherwise you'll get slaughtered.


In my opinion, your best bet would be to talk to a divorce lawyer in person to get the guidance you are seeking. Unfortunately, what you need to know cannot be explained easily by the Avvo question-answer method.

Whatever Avvo attorneys recommend in writing cannot be enough to make you comfortable with the task at hand. For example, just telling you where to go to get your file to the appropriate courtroom would require several paragraphs. One-on-one instructions would be more practical.


You may always choose to represent yourself, but it is never advisable. If there is a violation or failure to comply with an Illinois Judgment, you may file a Petition for Rule to Show Cause wherein you may request the Court to make a finding of contempt.

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