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Illinois Dissolution of Marriage Definitions

This collection of definitions will help clarify some unique characteristics to the Illinois Dissolution of Marriage laws, process and paperwork which is filed with the court.

Filing Party Title:
Petitioner

The spouse who will initiate the Dissolution of Marriage by filing the required paperwork with the court.

Non-Filing Party Title:
Respondent

The spouse who does not initiate the Dissolution of Marriage with the court.

Court Name:
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE ________ JUDICIAL DISTRICT

The proper name of the court in which a Dissolution of Marriage is filed in the state of Illinois. Each jurisdictional court typically has a domestic relations or a family law department or division.

Child Support Enforcement Website:
http://www.state.il.us/dpa/illinois_child_support.htm

The state run office devoted to enforcing existing child support orders and collecting any past due child support.

Document Introduction:
In Re the Marriage of:

The lead-in verbiage used in the legal caption or header of the documents filed with the court. The introduction typically prefaces both spouse’s names.

Initial Dissolution of Marriage Document:
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

The title and name of the legal document that will initiate the Illinois Dissolution of Marriage process. The filing spouse is also required to provide the non-filing spouse a copy of this document.

Final Dissolution of Marriage Document:
Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage

The title and name of the legal document that will finalize the Illinois Dissolution of Marriage process. This document will be signed by the judge, master, or referee of the court to declare your marriage officially terminated.

Clerk’s Office Name:
Office of the Clerk of the County Circuit Court

The office of the clerk that will facilitate the Dissolution of Marriage process. This is the title you would address letters to or ask for when contacting the courthouse.

Legal Separation:

The residency requirement specified in the statute is that an action for legal separation must be brought where the Respondent resides. Any person living separate and apart from his or her spouse, without fault, may obtain a legal separation with provisions for reasonable support and maintenance. [750 Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated; Chapter 5, Section 402].

Property Distribution:
Equitable Distribution

The applicable Illinois law that will dictate how property and debt is to be divided upon Dissolution of Marriage.