Although an attorney is not required by the court in Illinois to obtain a divorce or other family law determination (such as custody or separation), Judges are required to hold each person to the same standards as if he or she was an attorney, even if the person is representing him or herself. It is always advisable to have legal counsel to guide you through the divorce process, especially if you have children or assets. The Illinois Supreme Court has put certain rules in place that govern custody matters and the law regarding the division of assets in a divorce is complicated and ever-changing. Even if you believe your case to be very simple, an attorney will ensure that your case is handled smoothly, and often it will be completed much more quickly than if you were to handle the matter on your own.
Further, spouses who believe they have agreements on all issues often eventually have disputes regarding certain matters before the divorce is finalized. An attorney will be able to provide advice regarding a proper resolution. Remember that the agreement you reach on financial and custody issues must be put into a legal document, and this document must be free of mistakes and oversights or you may be required to return to court in the future to further litigate the issues. Attorneys who limit their practice to divorce matters draft these documents regularly, therefore it is much less likely you will have to return to court to re-litigate.