Your Family Matters

How to serve a divorce summons in Illinois

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2023 | family law

After filing for divorce, you should consider your options for service. This step can be simple, especially since the state has an online channel where you can place the divorce for service and file the summons. The summons document is crucial because it will serve as the notice to your former spouse about the divorce and your hearing schedule.

There is more than one way to serve your divorce summons. You could choose the best method based on the circumstances:

  • If you know your former spouse’s location or residence: You can get a sheriff to serve the paper directly to your former spouse. You might need to submit the necessary paperwork through the sheriff’s civil process website and pay a specific fee for the service.
  • If you don’t know their address and present location: You can request the court to allow publishing the divorce notice in a publication. This option can be more expensive, considering that different publications may have varying rates. It is vital to include the response deadline in the notice. The divorce can move forward without them if they do not file a response by the indicated date.

Serving the summons is a strict requirement to move along the divorce process. If you fail to meet the service deadline, the court might dismiss your case.

Preparing for the hearing

Once you accomplish these requirements, you can then prepare for your hearing. You could speak to an attorney regarding what files to prepare during this stage. Aside from the necessary forms and certificates, you might also need to present other supporting documents, including pay stubs and tax returns.

The files you should bring can also depend on your case details, including unique circumstances or requests requiring additional court review. Making these preparations cannot remove the risk of delays throughout the process, but it can help address issues as they arise.