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What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on August 12, 2021 in Divorce

Wheaton divorce attorneyWe typically think of marriage as a romantic partnership. However, marriage is also a legal relationship. When a married couple divorces, they will need to follow certain procedures to dissolve the legal marital relationship. If you are thinking about getting divorced in Illinois, you may wonder what the process entails. For example, you may wonder what the legal grounds for divorce are in Illinois, or whether there is a waiting period before you can file for divorce. The better educated you are about the divorce process in Illinois, the better prepared you will be to end your marriage on your terms.

Illinois is a “No-Fault” Divorce State

Sometimes, well-meaning friends and family members give inaccurate and outdated divorce advice. One reason that this happens is that laws are always changing. Prior to January 1, 2016, Illinois had two options for divorce: fault-based divorce and no-fault divorce. Fault-based grounds were things like infidelity or abuse. However, Public Act 99-90 eliminated all of the fault-based grounds for divorce in the state of Illinois.

Presently, there is only one possible “ground” or reason you can give when requesting a divorce: irreconcilable differences. To petition the court for a divorce, or “dissolution of marriage” in Illinois, you will assert that irreconcilable differences have led to the irreparable breakdown of your marriage.

Is There a Waiting Period to Get Divorced in Illinois?

Another factor in the divorce process that many people misunderstand is the waiting period. Before the legislative changes took effect in 2016, Illinois couples had to be separated for two years before they could get divorced. If they both agreed to the divorce, the waiting period could be reduced to six months.

Fortunately, Illinois has since eliminated the waiting period for divorce. If you and your spouse both agree that irreconcilable differences have led to the breakdown of the marriage, you can divorce as soon as you want to. If a spouse disagrees that the marriage is irretrievably broken down, you can create an irrebuttable presumption of irreconcilable differences by living apart for six months. Put another way, if your spouse tries to block the divorce, you can satisfy the “irreconcilable differences” criteria by living separately for six months. Furthermore, living separately does not require the spouses to live in separate houses. Living “separate and apart” could mean that the couple is no longer having sexual intercourse, eating meals together, or living as a typical married couple.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

Getting divorced can be a major legal undertaking – especially when couples disagree about the division of assets, child custody, or other divorce issues. Contact the skilled Wheaton divorce lawyers at Goostree Law Group for help. Call 630-364-4046 for a free consultation today.




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