Family Law

Family Law Resources

This legal research guide features links to family law resources in Cook County, Illinois, the United States generally, and internationally. This guide also includes information on child support and resources for victims of domestic violence. All links are freely available to the public. For resources available within the Law Library see our catalog.

I. Illinois Resources

II. Cook County Resources

III. Family Law Web Sites

IV. Domestic Violence

V. Child Support Resources

VI. International Family Law Resources

VII. Reference Resources

I. Illinois Resources


Searching Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS)

For example, locate the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/) by:


  • Search ILCS Use the search term: "750 ILCS 5/" (use quotation marks for greater accuracy).


  • Illinois Courts website
    • Supreme Court opinions filed since May 23, 1996.
    • Appellate Court opinions filed since September 3, 1996.


  • Department of Children and Family Services - Information on adoption, foster care, child protection. The "Policy and Rules" tab has text of administrative rules, agency guidelines, policy interpretations, policy guides and laws.

II. Cook County Resources

  • Cook County Commission on Women's Issues - The Commission on Women's Issues advises on issues of concern to women and girls by developing policy and program recommendations addressing issues affecting the status of women and girls, including domestic violence, child care, economic equity, and health.

III. Family Law Websites

  • Illinois Legal Aid - Search Illinois Legal Aid by entering terms that identify your legal issue in the search box. A listing of topics covered can be accessed by clicking the Browse Articles link at the bottom of the page. Illinois Legal Aid is statewide collaboration of Illinois legal services providers, funding entities, the private bar and law schools.
    • In August 2016, Illinois Legal Aid merged with Illinois Legal Advocate, and now includes topics and guides written for legal aid attorneys. Select Legal Resources tab for listing of topics. Some features of the site are accessible for legal aid attorneys only. Provided by Illinois Technology Center for Law and the Public Interest and Chicago-Kent College of Law.
  • ABA Guide to Family Law - A book discussing the rights and responsibilities of people who are married, divorced, or living together. Full-text available online.
  • Child Welfare Information Gateway - Provides access to information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families. Extensive resources on child welfare, child abuse and neglect, adoption, and statistics.

Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)

  • Divorce and QUILDROS (State Universities Retirement System) - Helpful information if retirement benefits are being considered for possible division in divorce proceedings. For SURS members. 

State Law Compilations

State Surveys

  • Family Law in the Fifty States - Charts for maintenance (alimony), custody criteria, child support guidelines, grants and residency requirements for divorce, and property. Provided by the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association (ABA)

IV. Domestic Violence

If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic violence you can get help by contacting the 24-hour multilingual toll-free Domestic Violence Help Line at 1-877-863-6338 or by TTY at 1-877-863-6339.

  • Advocating for Women - Information and brochures on domestic violence, teen dating violence, and crime victim services. From the Illinois Attorney General.
  • Safety Planning -  Information on "creating a plan to keep yourself and any children and/or pets safe while living in an environment of domestic violence and abuse, preparing to leave, leaving, and after leaving an abuser." From the Domestic Violence Resource Center (DVRC).
    • Sample safety plan (PDF) - A fill in the blank form for establishing a domestic violence safety plan. From the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence (NCDSV).
  • - State-by-state legal information and resources on domestic violence.

V. Child Support Resources

  • - Includes child support guidelines, calculators arranged by state, and family law resources.

VI. International Family Law Resources

  • Representing Children Worldwide - A research project of Yale Law School that compiles information and resources on "how children's voices are heard in child protective proceedings" worldwide in 2005. Includes summaries of the practices of the 194 signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (UNCRC).
  • International Adoption - Extensive information on international adoptions with country-specific resources. From the United States Department of State.
    • Judicial Assistance - Information on international judicial assistance, notarial services, and authentication of documents.
  • Commission on European Family Law (CEFL) - CEFL studies family law in Europe with a focus on harmonization efforts. Features information from 22 European countries including analysis in English along with text of legislation.

VII. Reference Resources

PLEASE NOTE: The websites listed in this guide are for information only and are not endorsed or supported by the Cook County Law Library. Please independently verify the accuracy and currency of all information. Consult an attorney for legal advice.


Compiled by Jean M. Wenger

Revised March 2021 by David Sanborne