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What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Illinois?

Posted on December 20, 2022 in Divorce

will county divorce lawyerIn the olden days, people who were filing for divorce could blame their spouse for the breakdown of the marriage, possibly filing for divorce under such grounds as infidelity, cruelty, or other acts. As of 2016, however, Illinois is now entirely a no-fault divorce state under Public Act 099-0090.

Under Illinois law now, people can only base their decision to divorce on “irreconcilable differences,” which is another way of saying that spouses can no longer get along despite repeated efforts to try and work things out. Under 750 ILCS 5/401(a-5), there is an irrebuttable presumption that the requirement of irreconcilable differences has been met when the parties live separate and apart for a continuous period of not less than six months immediately preceding the entry of the judgment dissolving the marriage.

Proving Irreconcilable Differences

Spouses living apart for six months proves that there are irreconcilable differences. The truth, however, is that spouses do not actually need to be literally living in separate homes to satisfy the requirement. Spouses may have to remain living together because of certain financial considerations or other factors, but may live in separate rooms and lead separate lives. 

At least one spouse needs to reside in Illinois for 90 days before filing for divorce. While all divorces are now considered to be no-fault, this is not to say that fault for the breakdown of a marriage will not impact other considerations.

Fault Does Not Typically Influence the Court’s Decisions

Unlike other states, Illinois does not consider marital misconduct such as infidelity when deciding on issues such as property division or spousal support. For example, if a spouse was abusive, the abused spouse is not entitled to a greater share of marital property or a larger maintenance award. The only time marital misconduct may influence property division is if a spouse dissipated assets during the end of the marriage. For example, if a spouse spent vast amounts of money during an extramarital affair, the other spouse may be able to file a dissipation of assets claim and recover the lost funds. 

Contact a Will County, IL Divorce Attorney

If you are currently wondering whether you can file for divorce in Illinois or suspect your spouse may be about to file, call the Naperville divorce lawyers at Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C. for help. 

Call 630-355-7776 or contact us online for a free consultation.



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