Divorce / Family

Divorce/Family Court Overview

  The Family Law Division of the 19th Judicial Circuit is located at 18 N. County Street Waukegan, IL on the first floor.
    The major functions of the Family Court include divorces, legal separations, annulments, and matters involving children including child support residential placement, parenting time and decision making.
    The court recognizes that equal access to the courts, for all people, is essential to preserving the integrity of our legal system. In response to the increase in Self-Represented Litigants (SRLs), and in an effort to provide equal access to justice, the court has established a special court call for SRLs in the family division. In addition, this website and other educational programs and materials have been developed and made available consistent with the Plain Language, Process Simplification, Procedural Fairness, Equal Access, and Continuous Improvement principles established by the Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, and the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit.
    The court process with be more efficient and you can avoid unnecessary court appearances by arriving on time, and by being prepared. Please bring all relevant paper work with you to every court date.
Due to the complexity of laws and procedures in family law matters, you are encouraged to seek the advice of a lawyer. However, due to finance circumstances, or personal preference you may choose to represent yourself.

The Guide for Family Law Cases (PDF) will inform you about the types of cases heard in family court, and familiarize you with the terminology, and basic procedures.

Family Law Related Statutes and Rules
 The laws that apply in family law include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, (also known as the IMDMA) 750 ILCS 5/101 through 801.
  • Lake County Local Rules Family Law LCR 4-3.01 through 4-3.19
  • Illinois Rules of Civil Procedure 735 ILCS 5/2-101 through 2-2301
  • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (also known as the UCCJEA) 750 ILCS 36-101 through 36-405
  • The Federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (also known as 28 U.S.C.A 1738A)
  • Illinois Supreme Court Rules of General Application to Child Custody or Allocation of Parental Responsibilities Ill. S. Ct. R 900 through 942
  • Illinois Domestic Violence Act 750 ILCS 60/101 through 401
  • Illinois Parentage Act 750 ILCS 46/101 through 905
  • Disclaimer

    This Guide for Family Law Cases was compiled through the joint efforts of members of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court and the Lake County Bar Association. The purpose of this Guide is to answer general questions and provide general information about the procedures in Lake County, Illinois, in order to obtain a Dissolution of Marriage (commonly referred to as “divorce”), a Dissolution of Civil Union, a Legal Separation, or a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage (commonly referred to as “annulment”). 

    The information provided in this Guide is not intended to provide legal advice. This booklet does not address specific situations, and, as such, does not replace the advice or representation of your own attorney.  Because of this, the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court and the Lake County Bar Association, and its members make no claim as to whether the information provided will achieve the result that you desire and disclaim any responsibility for the consequences of any actions taken in reliance upon the information provided. 

    Family law matters may have an effect on other legal rights, including but not limited to immigration, probate, bankruptcy, tax issues and criminal matters. If any such legal issues are involved in your case, you should consult an attorney.

    The information contained in this Guide is based upon the law in effect at the time that this Guide was drafted. The state law or local court rules governing family law cases are subject to change. All self-represented litigants act as their own attorneys, and are expected to be familiar with the law.


    It is always a good idea to seek legal advice from your own attorney, who must be licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. If you need a referral to an attorney who may be able to assist you, please contact the Lake County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service at www.lakebar.org/find-a-lawyer or by calling them at (847) 244-3143