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Bill Attorney
Bill Attorney, Lawyer
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My husband and I were married in 1983, we have been

Customer Question

My husband and I were married in 1983, we have been separated since August 2015. Our home is in Oak Park (Cook County), Illinois. We work in China teaching at a university in an under-developed area, so we fly back and forth each year between China and our home in Cook County. We want to reconcile, so we do not want a divorce. I have prepared a petition and judgment for legal separation. How do I file it?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Cook County, IL
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I want to know first if this question will cost me money. I filled out the form before and before I could get an answer I had to pay $35. Is this the same?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Please do not try to text me as the Chinese censors will not allow a text to go through. Please send emails to***@******.***.
Expert:  Bill Attorney replied 8 months ago.

This is attorney Bill. A legal separation comes into place on the signing of all parties intending to be bound by the agreement.

A legal separation agreement is enforceable in law and should be filed with the clerk of your county family court.

Should there be any later dispute the court will hold both parties to the agreement so long as it is fair and equitable to do so.

It is possible to later seek modification of the agreement has been filed with your local family court.




Please follow up with me if you need more information.

Attorney Bill

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
You have not answered my question. I already found all this other information you wrote online. My question: How do I file (physically file, do I have someone walk into a courtroom or can I do it online?) the petition for legal separation (and have a judge sign the judgment) which I have already prepared?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Your answer treats the legal separation as a contract, not a petition followed by judgement.
Expert:  Bill Attorney replied 8 months ago.

There are two forms of separation agreements. For an involuntary separation, you petition the family court for a legal judicial separation.

You file the separation with the clerk of the family court in your county and serve the summons on your husband. You should also give him notice of the hearing date and file a certificate of mailing with the clerk

The previous advice was for a separation agreement that you both agree upon, as you indicated a reconciliation.

Please follow up if you need more information.

Attorney Bill

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your patience and this clarification. This is the former, that is, mutually voluntary. So it must be rewritten as a form of contract and simply filed with the country clerk? So I am back to the initial question. How do I do this? Can you send me a link to send the signed agreement of legal separation or give me an address where I mail it along with a check?
Expert:  Bill Attorney replied 8 months ago.

You petition the court and include what terms have already been agreed or not have yet been agreed upon. The terms that have not yet been agreed upon will be decided by the family court judge at the hearing.

Some States allow for a simpler process of just registering an agreement with the court. From my review, this is not something provided at this moment in Illinois. I reviewed your attachment and everything appears to be correct therein.

So the next step is to file it with the court and seek a hearing.

Attorney Bill

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Can filing be done online or must it be mailed in? I see the fee schedule at , so a minimum of $368 to file. Do I understand that I must make a court appearance? I was not planning to be in Illinois again until June. Can I have someone else present at the court date? Must it be an attorney? Sorry to be such a pest, but this is all within the question "How do I file the petition for legal separation?"
Expert:  Bill Attorney replied 8 months ago.

The domestic relations department of the circuit states in relation to the filing fees :

The regular fee for filing all cases in the Division is $359.00.�If you cannot afford this fee, you can fill out an application and affidavit to sue or defend as an indigent person and see a judge to determine if the filing fees will be waived or perhaps, deferred.
Some counties allow applicants to file online, you should refer to your County Circuit court to see if they accept on line applications.

A list of the circuit courts in Illinois are available here You can find your court house here.

If your County court doesn't allow an online application, you must file in person or hire an attorney to represent you.

Some free legal aid is available depending on your means.


Attorney Bill