No, you don't. You are listed as Belleville. I am in Alton nearby. So here is what you do:
Before anything else, I want to be sure you are safe: If not go to http://www.vpcswi.org/ or call Violence Prevention Center at (618) 235-0892 (it is in Belleville) and is there to help keep you safe. Or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE .
Once you are safe,
1. Get on your computer and see the SIU Legal Self Help Center and review their excellent information and forms, which come complete with clear instructions\
2. Call Land of Lincoln (legal aid) and see if you qualify. No money and an abusive husband should do it. Their office is on Bluff St on the border between Belleville & East St. Louis. Go out W. Main until you cross 157 and it is on the right
3. Even if Land of Lincoln legal aid won't help in a timely way, you can do this on your own in the initial steps. asked Land of Lincoln if they will help you fill out an EOP petition. They can explain what that is and whether you should ask for one.
4. If you are abused or threatened head right to the circuit clerkat the courthouse in downtown Belleville near the fountain and ask for a petition for an emergency order of protection (EOP), fill it out, ask the clerk to arrange for you to see a judge, the judge will normally just grant it, and the court will have the sheriff serve it on your husband and the police will enforce it. The court will set a hearing in about two weeks where your husband can come in and contest the EOP. if you have no money and your husband has money, the EOP will order your husband to pay you temporary maintenance if you ask for it.
5. If you are not financially able to pay filing fees and costs or attorneys fees, (and "I have no money" seems to qualify you) you may file for divorce on your own and apply to the Court for waiver of those charges as an indigent person. The forms are on the SIU Legal Self Help Center website noted above. To seek waiver of those fees, you must complete and submit the form “Affidavit & Application to Sue or Defend as an Indigent Person.” The form is on the SIU site or you can find one for Madison County at http://www.co.madison.il.us/circuitclerk/PDF/NetIndigencyAffidavit.11.2.pdf and change the title to read 20th Circuit, Belleville, Illinois rather than 3rd Circuit, Edwardsville, Illinois.
6. I give you these details because no one should have to live like this for the rest of their life.
7. If your husband is able to pay for your attorneys fees and you are not, then give me a call and I will suggest some family law attorneys in St. Clair County that take cases like that on contingency, knowing there is a possibility they might not be able to collect. Those attorneys are pretty selective, however, as they would go broke if they did that very often without being sure they could collect.
So far, this is free to you. Until you pay a fee, I am not your lawyer and you are not my client, so you take any free advice at your sole risk. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.
I see that you are planning a move to Texas. If you wait and file for divorce in Texas, you will need to be a resident of the state for the preceding 6 months and a resident of the county in which you file for the preceding 90 days. Thus, the earliest you could file for divorce in Texas is 6 months after your move, assuming that you stay in the same county during the second 3-month period. I hope this helps. Good luck!
This attorney can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 817.305.7170. The above answer does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice.
Go to court and get an order of protection. You do not need a lawyer, it's free, and it fits your circumstances.
Go to http://civilizeddivorce.com/ for an “in plain English” explanation of Illinois divorce law and how it works.
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