The Domestic Relations Division is established pursuant to General Order 1.2, 2.1 (c) of the General Orders of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Cases heard in the Domestic Relations Division seek an order or judgment related to the following: dissolution of marriage/civil union, declaration of invalidity of marriage/civil union, legal separation, parentage, child support, maintenance, allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly known as custody and visitation) and/or orders of protection where there is a pending dissolution or parentage matter. Such proceedings also include all post-judgment matters relating thereto and all other matters that may be brought in the Domestic Relations Division as provided in the General Orders promulgated by the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. The Domestic Relations Division does not hear adoption or guardianship cases. Adoption cases are heard by the County Division and guardianship cases are heard by the Probate Division.
The Domestic Relations Division is located in Room 802 of the Richard J Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago, IL 60602.
Domestic Relations Division Case Files
Domestic Relations case files generally include the following: petitions, summons, motions, responses, pleadings, court orders and judgments.
Frequently Asked Questions
A packet of dissolution forms is available at Domestic Relations Division counter upon request. A petitioner seeking to file their own dissolution without the help of an attorney can fill out these forms and self-draft a Petition for Dissolution.
Once the forms and attachments are completed, the petitioner will receive a case number and judge (Calendar) assignment. Court dates can be set up at the motion counter in the Domestic Relations Division. At a later date, if there has been no activity on the case, you will receive a white postcard in the mail notifying you of a status court date. Should you fail to appear, you could risk your case being dismissed.
If you cannot afford an attorney, you can find a lawyer's group that will represent you for no fee or a reduced fee. The Clerk's Office can provide you with a list of Lawyer Referral Services. That information is available in Room 802 of the Richard J. Daley Center or online (Finding an Attorney).
You can also submit an application and affidavit to sue or defend as an indigent person, also known as the "298 Petition." You may qualify to proceed as a pro se litigant (self-represented litigant) without having to pay any fees. This form is available in Room 802 of the Richard J. Daley Center.
You may request an application for the child support enforcement program service, also called the IV-D (4-D) program, by calling the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) at 800-447-4278. If you have an existing child support pay order, you may call the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Child Support Division at 312-345-4188, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
If you have questions regarding this matter, please contact the Illinois Department of Healthcare & Family Services (HFS) at 800-447-4278.
The State of Illinois requires all Clerks of the Circuit Courts to collect a fee of $36 ($3 each month) for processing services associated with child support.