How Do I Find Out If Divorce Papers Have Been Filed in Illinois?
- Identify the county or counties where the spouses are currently residing. In Illinois, a divorce petition must be filed in the circuit court of the county where one of the spouses currently lives. You can then monitor the court or courts that have jurisdiction in a divorce case.
- Search the court dockets. Divorce filings are typically entered into the court docket, which is public record. Some courthouses offer online searching of the docket, while others may require you contact the courthouse to request a search. Also, if the defendant cannot be found to be served with divorce papers, an ad may be placed in a local paper advising the defendant of the divorce proceedings. Check the classified ad sections of the local papers (many are published online) for a divorce notice.
- Contact a lawyer court as soon as possible if you find out your spouse has filed for divorce. Do not assume a divorce can be prevented or significantly delayed just because one spouse cannot be found. Illinois law allows divorces to proceed even without the participation of both spouses. If the divorcing spouse makes a good faith effort to find her spouse, but cannot find him so he can be served with divorce papers, the judge can grant her a divorce by default.