Can I Get Divorced Through a Newspaper in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

Rolling Meadows divorce attorney missing spouseEven if your marriage has broken down, you may not want to go through the long, drawn-out process of divorce. You know you will have to see your ex in many unpleasant circumstances, and you may want to avoid interacting with him or her altogether. If you are in an abusive relationship, this can be a particularly important issue. 

You may have heard about the possibility of getting a divorce through the newspaper in which you simply publish the divorce announcement and have your marriage dissolved. Is this true, though? Can you really just publish that you want a divorce in a newspaper and have the process finalized? While this may be possible in Illinois, the process of doing so is not easy, and you will have to meet several criteria before you start paying for that ad space. 

What You Need to File Through Publication

In a few rare cases, you can get divorced through a publication in the newspaper in Illinois. Before you do so, you will need to file a petition for divorce with the court, ask the judge to allow you to serve the divorce papers through publication, and then prove why you need to do so. 

You will need to show to the court that you do not know where your spouse is and that you do not know how to contact him or her. You must show evidence that you have attempted to contact him or her. This evidence can include texts you have sent him or her, written requests to his or her family and friends asking for his or her current address or phone number, or messages sent to his or her last known employer. You may also have to show that you have tried to find your ex-spouse using electronic methods, such as email or social media.

During this process, you should not pretend that you cannot find your ex-spouse. The courts will easily see through this. In these cases, you will most likely not only be required to follow proper procedures, but a judge may take your deception into account when the divorce proceedings begin.

The Process of Filing Through Publication 

Even if the judge determines that you have reason to begin divorce proceedings through publication, you cannot simply run one newspaper ad and consider yourself divorced. You will need to publish notification of the divorce for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper in the county the divorce is taking place. If your spouse does not respond, the divorce may be granted by default. 

Even if a divorce judgment is granted, not all of the terms of your divorce may be finalized. A judge will not make any final decisions regarding child custody, child support or division of property until the other spouse is available to attend the necessary hearings. 

Contact a Palatine Divorce Attorney

While it is possible to get divorced through publication in Illinois, it is very rare. The majority of divorce cases must be resolved through mediation, collaborative law, or litigation. If you need help with your divorce proceedings, contact a skilled Arlington Heights divorce lawyer. Attorney Nicholas W. Richardson will work with you to meet your legal requirements and help you resolve your outstanding disputes, allowing you to dissolve your marriage as quickly and efficiently as possible. Call our office today at 847.873.6741 for your free consultation. 



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