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Can I File for a “No-Fault” Divorce in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

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There are many circumstances that can lead to a divorce, and every situation is unique. Illinois divorce law makes it somewhat easy to justify your reason for wanting to legally end your marriage. Citing irreconcilable differences is the only grounds for divorce in Illinois. However, nothing about divorce feels that simple when you are going through it, so having the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney can make the proceedings less intimidating. As you are preparing to file, it is important to consider the several routes that a no-fault divorce can take.

Illinois’ Divorce Laws

In Illinois, you do not have to find fault with your spouse to legally justify your reason for wanting a divorce. In the past, you would have to prove that your spouse was adulterous, an alcoholic, abusive, or engaging in other harmful behaviors. Since Illinois is a no-fault state, you can file at any time and get divorced in a fairly quick manner if both you and your spouse consent to the terms of the settlement. Your divorce decree will contain information on spousal support, property division, as well as child support and parenting time if you have children. 

The most common legal definition for filing a no-fault divorce is irreconcilable differences. To obtain a divorce under this definition, you may state that:

  • Your marriage has broken down, and there is no way you can fix it.

  • Prior efforts to repair your relationship have failed.

  • Future attempts at reconciliation will not produce a different outcome.

Can a Divorce Petition Be Contested?

Divorce due to irreconcilable differences will proceed most smoothly if both spouses consent to the dissolution of the marriage. If one spouse disagrees that the marriage has broken down, he or she may not want to agree to the divorce, but it is often best to proceed as if it will take place, and any attempts to reconcile can be handled separately from the legal process of dissolving the marriage. While it is technically possible to contest a divorce petition, this will often just prolong the legal process, leading to more difficulty and increased legal fees. In fact, even if one spouse does not agree to the divorce, irreconcilable differences will be presumed if spouses live "separate and apart" for six months. This may mean that you live at different addresses, but it can also apply to spouses living under the same roof. For example, if you and your spouse sleep in different bedrooms and function independently from each other, this can fulfill the requirement for living separately.

Contact a Naperville Divorce Attorney

The discussions about whether or not your marriage is irreconcilable can be emotional and confusing, so it is crucial to hire an accomplished divorce attorney at the beginning of the divorce process. At the Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C., we have more than 35 years of combined legal experience, and we help our clients resolve a wide variety of disputes to achieve their goals. For skilled legal advice on how to file for divorce and protect your rights during the divorce process, reach out to our tenacious DuPage County divorce lawyers. Call us today at 630-355-7776 to schedule your free consultation.


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