Filing and Fees



1.    E-filing: All documents filed with the court must be e-filed. Detailed instructions for e-filing are available at or the center for self-representation. Click here to view e-filing basics in English and here is e-filing basics in Spanish.

2.    Court Fees: A court fee is charged when you file your petition, or when you file your appearance/answer. Please call the Clerk of the Circuit Court to obtain the correct amount of the fee charged, or see the fee schedule at 

The fee must be paid at the time you file your Petition or your Appearance. The clerk’s office does not accept checks – all fees must be paid in cash or by credit card. There is an additional transaction fee charged when you use a credit card. Call the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office to determine the amount of the fee and whether they accept your type of credit card. An ATM machine is also available in the building.

3.    If you cannot afford to pay filing fees: If you cannot afford to pay the court fees, you can request that the court fees be waived. To request the court fees be waived you need to fill out a form called Application for Waiver of Court Fees.

If you want to file an Application for Waiver of Court Fees you will need to provide the following information:

      • Amount of money that you make
      • Value of property that you own
      • Number of people that you care for
      • Monthly expenses and debt

After you complete the form you must appear before a Judge to ask that your request be granted.  You do this by obtaining a case number from the Clerk’s office, then requesting Court Administration for assistance in assigning a Judge to hear the Petition.  This typically occurs on the same date that you file the form, so please plan your day accordingly.  The Judge will review the application and either grant or deny your request.  If the Judge grants the application, the Judge will provide an order waiving your court fees for the dissolution suit. If the Judge denies the Petition, you will have to pay the filing fee before your case can proceed.

Fees for Dissolution, Invalidity, Legal Separation, or Family cases that can be waived include:

      • Fee for filing a petition
      • Fee for filing your appearance/response
      • Fee for service of the petition by the sheriff
      • Fee for publication notice, if necessary
      • Fee for a court reporter for the prove up hearing
      • Fee for the Lake County Parenting Class