Prove-Up Script in a Default Divorce

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Author: LAF
Last updated: August 2006

Note:The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act and Paternity Act changed on January 1, 2016. The most up-to-date information can be found in the following articles on Parentage (formerly Paternity), Divorce, Allocation of Parental Responsibilities (formerly Custody), Parenting Time (formerly Visitation), and Child Support.


Good morning, your Honor. My name is                      of the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, representing the Petitioner in the case of                        vs.                     ,  Case number                      .  Mr.                       was served on                      by (publication, personal service, substitute service).  He has failed to file an appearance or response.  Notice was sent to him of today’s proceedings and he has failed to appear in court.  We are ready to proceed on the grounds of                     .  I am presenting to the court a copy of the petition for dissolution, notice of motion and a proposed judgment, which we would like to have entered today.

(The client is sworn in.  Give the “Court Reporter Sheet” to the Court Reporter.) 

Please state your name for the record.
Were you married to Mr.                       on                       (date) in                      (place)?


Did you file a petition to dissolve your marriage?  Did you live in Cook County and the State of Illinois for at least 90 days before you filed that petition?  Have you lived in Cook County and Illinois continuously since that time?  Did you separate from your husband on                     


Did you have                       children as a result of your marriage?  Did you and your husband adopt any children?   Are you pregnant right now?  Have the children lived with you since you separated?  Prior to the separation were you the primary caretaker of the children?  Do you believe you are the best person to have custody of the children?  Do you believe it is in their best interest for you to have custody of them?

For Visitation 

Does your husband see the children?  How often?  Does that include overnights? 

For Restricted Visitation 

Does your husband frequently consume alcohol or drugs?  Has he driven while under the influence?  Has he ever struck the children?  Has he threatened to take them out of the state so that you would not have access to them, etc.?


Irreconcilable Differences-Must be Separated For Two Years

During your marriage did you and your husband have differences between the two of you that you could not work out?  Did you try to work them out?  Were able to?  Do you think you can work out these differences in the future?  Do you believe that your marriage is irretrievably broken?  Do you believe it is in the best interest of your family to dissolve your marriage?

Mental Cruelty

During your marriage did your husband treat you as a kind and loving wife?  Or, did he, on the other hand,                       (insert facts as appropriate; your client can give you specific examples) which told you that he did not love you?  Did he stay out all night without telling you where he was?  Did he ridicule you in front of your friends?  Did he refuse to hold a job or support the family?  Was he physically abusive to you?  Did all this make you nervous and upset?  Did you seek counseling (if applicable, not always required)? Do you feel better now that you have separated? Did you do anything to cause or provoke this behavior?

Physical Cruelty

Was your husband physically abusive to you?  Specifically, on                       (date) did he                       (must cite two examples)?  Did you do anything to cause or provoke him to do this?

Child Support

Is your husband employed?  Where does he work?  What is his net income per pay period?  How often is he paid?  


Are you employed?  How much are you earning?  Are you capable of supporting yourself without any help from your husband? (If the client seeks maintenance, establish how long she will need it - i.e., until the youngest child is in school, until the client finishes school, etc.  If the client is on public aid, she cannot waive maintenance; it must be reserved.  It is recommended that maintenance be reserved until six months after she receives her last check.)  Is your husband able bodied?  Is he capable of working and supporting himself without any help from you?


Did you acquire any real estate during the marriage?  Did you acquire any other property?  Did that include                       (household furnishings, a vehicle, pension, IRA, 401(k), bank accounts, etc.).  Do you currently have all the property in your possession that you want?  If not, what property does Mr.                      have that you would like?


Are the following debts still owed from the time that you and your husband were together                      ?


Are you asking the court today to:

  • Dissolve your marriage?
  • Grant you sole custody of the children?
  • Award Mr.                       visitation on alternate weekends, alternate holidays, Father’s Day and his birthday, and award you visitation on Mother’s Day and on your birthday?
  • Are you asking that Mr.                      be ordered to pay child support in the amount of $                     per pay period, which represents                       % of his net income?
  • Are you asking that Mr.                      be ordered to pay half of the childrens' day care expenses?
  • Are you asking that Mr.                      be ordered to maintain health insurance for the benefit of the minor children so long as it is available through his employer?
  • Are you asking that Mr.                      be ordered to maintain life insurance for the benefit of the minor children so long as it is available through his employer?
  • Are you asking that the personal property that is now in your possession be awarded to you?
  • (If applicable) Are you asking that the real estate located at                      be awarded to you and that your husband be ordered to quit claim all interest in this property to you, and that if he fails to do so, a court of competent jurisdiction be empowered to sign a judge's deed quitclaiming his interest to you?  Or, are you asking the court to allow you to continue to live in the marital residence, located at                     , until your youngest child is 18 and out of high school, and that at that time the house be sold and that you receive                      % of the profits from the sale, after costs and expenses, and that your husband be awarded the remaining profits from the sale of the property?
  • Are you asking that Mr.                      be responsible for the following marital debts                      ?
  • Are you asking that maintenance for yourself be (reserved, waived, awarded) at $                     per month for                       years?
  • Are you asking that  Mr.                      be barred from receiving maintenance?
  • Are you asking that you be allowed to resume the use of your maiden name of                     ?

Thank you.  I have no further questions.


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