For People Without Lawyers

A judge cannot give special treatment to a party because the party does not have an attorney. However, a judge may make reasonable efforts, consistent with the law and court rules, to facilitate the ability of self-represented individuals to be fairly heard. As a self-represented litigant, you are required to follow the same procedures and rules as attorneys. Your motions, response, notices and methods of service must comply with the law. Failure to comply with the law can result in denial of your motion and sanctions which can include paying the other party’s attorney fees. It is highly recommended that you seek advice from an attorney before filing any motions/petitions. However, if you proceed without an attorney, you may seek guidance from the following resources:

Illinois Legal Aid Online

Domestic Relations Help Desk

Richard J. Daley Center, 

50 West Washington Street
Chicago, IL 60602
No phone
No appointments, first come, first served
Hours: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, except court holidays

• Uncontested divorces
• Free legal consultation on simple family matters such as child support, allocation of parental responsibilities issues, and parenting time for low-income clients who cannot afford the services of an attorney
• Assistance in resolving issues after the entry of a divorce order

The purpose of the Help Desk is to help people represent themselves in court on simple family matters and to resolve issues after the entry of a divorce order, called a judgment of dissolution.  Litigants should bring any relevant court documents with them.

Copyright 2018 by Circuit Court of Cook County