What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Illinois?

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What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Illinois?

In the past, Illinois required a spouse to state a cause for the divorce alleging that the other spouse was guilty of some type of marital misconduct. As of 2016, however, Illinois is now a no-fault divorce state. This means that Illinois courts no longer assign fault in a divorce. When a marriage ends, both spouses are considered equally responsible – whether that is true in reality or not. There are areas where a judge may still consider certain facts, like if one spouse dissipated marital funds, when dividing property and allocating parenting time. However, there is no longer any need to cite a fault ground.

What Needs to Be Proven in a No-Fault Divorce?

When a cause had to be listed in a divorce complaint, getting a divorce could be difficult. Causes typically included only severe forms of marital discord, such as bigamy, repeated and sustained abuse, long-term drug abuse, and getting convicted of a felony. Now, there is very little that needs to be proven. Now, you need only to claim that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences, have tried and failed to reconcile, and that further attempts at reconciliation would be impractical and not in the family’s best interest.

Apart from both parties agreeing to the divorce, one of the easiest ways to demonstrate irreconcilable differences is to live separate and apart for six months before filing. This term of separation creates what is called an “irrebuttable presumption” that irreconcilable differences exist. This means that the court must accept it as true that you and your spouse are no longer able to get along and divorce would be in your best interest. A divorce may go more quickly and smoothly when this is a case, saving you stress and money.

Living separate and apart does not mean that one of you has to move out and establish a new residence. Although this may seem counterintuitive, it is possible for a couple to live separate and apart under the same roof. Sharing a house but sleeping in separate rooms and acting as roommates rather than a married couple can count as living separate and apart. Courts recognize that it is possible for a couple to be too irreconcilably different to stay married without being at such a high level of conflict that they cannot share accommodations.

When Does Fault Matter?

Depending on what type of marital misconduct is involved, the court may consider the old fault grounds when it comes time to allocate parenting time. If one parent is violent, abusing substances, or engaged in a criminal lifestyle, the court will want to make sure he or she does not have an opportunity to endanger a child. Also, in cases where one spouse dissipated or stole marital funds, the court can consider this during the equitable distribution of marital property.

Source: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?

Speak With an Illinois Divorce Attorney

If you are considering getting divorced in Illinois, Resolve Divorce Law may be able to help you bring about a peaceable resolution if possible. If not, the experienced Schaumburg divorce attorneys to arrange a free and confidential consultation. Our experienced 847-229-8433 for a free consultation.

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