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How to Get a Divorce Without a Lawyer in Illinois

Our DIY divorce method is a great way to get a divorce in Illinois without an attorney. With our Do-It-Yourself Divorce, you do most of the divorce on your own, but you get help from an attorney at key stages. For example, the attorney helps you draft the initial paperwork needed to file for divorce.

Many people don’t want to hire an attorney for their divorce or separation. This could be for several reasons, whether it is feeling like you can do it on your own, not wanting to pay for full representation, or even just a distrust of lawyers.

That’s why we offer options like DIY Divorce. With this method, you get to meet with an attorney a few times and they help you draft the paperwork. You’ll meet with your attorney at the beginning, and they lay everything out for you. You’ll know exactly how much it will cost, exactly what they’ll give you, and it will all be in writing. And, if you want some proof of our attorneys’ effectiveness, check out their reviews page.

Divorce Process Without an Attorney

A divorce can be done completely without an attorney. However, there are key benefits to having an attorney.

If you didn’t hire an attorney at all, you’d need to file the paperwork, serve your spouse, figure out all the court hearings, mediation sessions, agreement creation, and everything else all on your own. It is possible, but the legal system is not really set up for people to succeed without an attorney in many cases.

Attorneys, especially those that only practice family law, know the divorce process inside and out. With DIY, you get help from an attorney to set you up for success.

DIY Divorce

Getting a DIY divorce lets you get a divorce on your own while getting some help from a professional. Getting that help from a Sterling Lawyers, LLC attorney gives you the confidence to know you’re doing things right.

Benefits of DIY Divorce

The biggest benefit to a DIY Divorce is the money you save. A DIY Divorce costs less than full representation or even mediation, and it gets you everything listed on the table below.

With the DIY method, you get the confidence that you know what’s coming. But all divorces are unique, that’s why you can also get help from an attorney when issues come up.

One of the least accessible parts of a divorce is the paperwork. So, in the DIY divorce option, your attorney will help you with drafting the necessary paperwork. 

Finally, the DIY divorce also gives you time to meet with your attorney. In these meetings, clients can ask attorneys questions and get help on the topics most important to them.

Downsides of DIY Divorce

The DIY Divorce method is not for everyone. It’s great for people who don’t want to spend as much money, but it's not best for people in difficult situations. For example, if you think the divorce is going to be contentious with lots of disputes, DIY is not a great option for you.

It’s better for people who don’t have kids or who don’t have a lot of assets. But, if you have those things, this may still work for you. You would need to be confident that you and your soon-to-be-ex can work together to make an agreement.

DIY is also not great for people who are going to have difficulty doing things on their own. The attorney is doing far less than they would if they were hired for full representation. DIY is a great method for people who are confident they can do a lot of it on their own. If you think you’d appreciate the full amount of help an attorney can give, full representation is the better method.

Ready to start your DIY Divorce journey? Take the first step and download the free Illinois divorce forms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get a divorce without a lawyer?

Yes, you can get a divorce without a lawyer. But, having a lawyer is great because they know when and what paperwork to file, how the process works, and what to do in unique situations.
There are many perks to having a lawyer but full representation is not cheap. That’s why we offer options like DIY divorce.

How to file for divorce without a lawyer?

You can file for divorce using the same paperwork as an attorney. The hard part is filling everything out correctly, knowing where to file it, and then knowing the next steps for service.

Can you get a divorce without going to court?

No, you cannot file for divorce without going to court. But, there are a couple of ways to minimize how much you go to court. Every divorce case has to be finalized in court, but if you figure out everything outside the courtroom, then you only need to go to court for that finalization. One best way to minimize the number of times you go to court is by doing divorce mediation.

How can I get a quick divorce?

One of the quickest ways to get a divorce is by getting an uncontested divorce. This is only for people that already agree with the other party on how to settle every issue. If there are no kids and minimal assets, there is also the option of a joint simplified divorce. Overall, the more you and the other party disagree, the longer the divorce can take.

Can you get a divorce without the other person signing the papers?

It is rare to get a divorce without the other party being a part of the process. One example of this would be if you cannot find the other party. If you can’t find them, steps such as service by publication must be taken first. If the other party simply won’t show up to court even though they were properly served, then the divorce can be settled without them.

Can I divorce my wife without her knowing?

No, you cannot divorce the other party without them knowing. Even when you can’t find the other party, you must show the court you went to great lengths to serve them the divorce papers.

Who should file for divorce first?

Who files first has little impact on the divorce process. One of the only things this impacts is that the person who files first has to pay a little bit more in filing fees.

Can you get divorced in a day?

Not in a day but a joint simplified divorce can take less than a week. Only certain couples can get a joint simplified divorce though.

How much does a divorce cost?

Usually, a divorce costs around $11,000, but it depends on what type of divorce you get. For example, mediation is often cheaper because the attorney fees are shared between the parties.

How does a DIY divorce work?

In DIY divorce, an attorney helps you with specific pieces of the divorce process. A lot of the work falls on the person going through the divorce, so this method is much cheaper. You meet with an attorney and then they lay out what the process will look like.

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