Eligibility Requirements

To use the Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage procedure, the following must apply to you and your spouse:
  • Irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. All efforts at reconciliation of the differences have failed and future attempts at reconciliation would not be in the best interest of you and your spouse.
  • You and your spouse must have lived separate and apart for at least 6 months and you must be willing to waive the requirement for a 2-year separation before obtaining a dissolution on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.
  • You must have been married less than 8 years and either you or your spouse (or both) must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days immediately prior to filing for the dissolution.
  • No children were born to or adopted by you and your spouse during your relationship and the wife is not now pregnant.
  • Your joint, annual, gross income from all sources must be less than $35,000. The total value of marital property you and your spouse own, less any encumbrances (amount owed on the property, such as the amount owed on a car loan), must be less than $10,000. Neither you nor your spouse may own any real estate.
  • You and your spouse each must be willing to permanently give up any right to maintenance (alimony).
  • You and your spouse must have disclosed to each other all assets each of you have, and disclosed all tax returns filed during your marriage.
  • You and your spouse must sign a written agreement dividing between yourselves all marital assets worth more than $100 and dividing responsibility for all debts and liabilities. You must divide the property and sign and exchange all documents (such as automobile titles, etc.) necessary to carry out the agreement before any court hearing.
  • You and your spouse must waive any right you may have to a bifurcated hearing on your dissolution petition (a hearing held in two parts, one to decide the issues related to granting the dissolution and another to decide any property or other issues).
  • Both you and your spouse must be present in court to obtain the Simplified Divorce.