The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission) recently announced that it has updated several Divorce and Family Law case forms. The updates ensure that all forms comply with any recent law or rule changes, as well as the ATJ Commission’s goal to make all court forms accessible to self-represented litigants (SRLs).
Attorneys should compare the updated forms to their forms and templates. Since the Illinois Courts are required to accept the approved versions, attorneys should ensure theirs are the same or substantially the same in form.
Which divorce forms have been updated?
The forms affected are listed below:
- Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce with Children)
- Getting Started Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce with Children)
- How to Get a Divorce (with Children)
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce with Children)
- Summons Petition for Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union
- Parenting Plan
- Additional Parenting Time
- Certification Agreement (Divorce with Children)
- Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce No Children)
- Getting Started Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce No Children)
- How to Get at Divorce (No Children)
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce No Children)
- Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce No Children)
- Certification Agreement (Divorce No Children)
- Child Support and Maintenance
- Getting Started Order for Support
- How to Get an Order for Support
- Order for Support
- Support Information Sheet
- How to Fill Out the Income Withholding for Support Form
- Income Withholding for Support
- Interim Attorney’s Fees Award Order
- Interim Fee Award Order
To visit the landing page for all relevant forms, click here. This page also guides users to explore free resources from Illinois Legal Aid Online to complete their case filings correctly.
The ATJ Commission’s role in Illinois divorce form updates
Many divorce cases in Illinois involve SRLs. To improve access to justice for these court users, the ATJ Commission detailed specific initiatives relating to divorce and family law in its 2020-2023 Strategic Plan.
First, the ATJ Commission pledged to update and standardize its 45 ADA compliant suites of instructions, forms, and orders—including divorce cases—across all Illinois courts, using plain language to make them more easily understandable to the average court user.
Second, through its Self-Represented Litigant Coordinator program, the ATJ Commission funded early resolution divorce programs in McHenry, Lake, and Cook counties that invite SRLs in simple divorce cases without children to get divorces on their first court appearance by agreement. According to the ATJ Commission’s 2020-2023 Strategic Plan, the preliminary results of these programs show they can significantly reduce the time from filing to resolution.
To learn more about Illinois divorce form updates, visit illinoiscourts.gov.
Best practices for transitioning forms
As a reminder, the ATJ Commission has shared best practices for transitioning forms. These include:
- Be sure to post links to the fillable forms from the Supreme Court’s new website (https://www.illinoiscourts.gov/documents-and-forms/approved-forms/) to make sure they direct users to the most up-to-date forms.
- Print forms for court users on-demand to save printing costs until all updates are made.
- Email Israel Putnam, Senior Program Manager, Forms at the AOIC (firstname.lastname@example.org) to check for any court form updates before printing large orders.
The ATJ Commission notes there are still several court forms across various areas of law that will be updated shortly.
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