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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700

What are Grounds for Divorce in Illinois?

Western Springs no-fault divorce attorney

DuPage County Divorce Lawyer Explains Grounds For Divorce and Irreconcilable Differences

For much of the history of the state of Illinois, people who decided to end their marriage in divorce had to provide a reason, or grounds, for the divorce. State laws listed several possible reasons, including infidelity and mental cruelty. However, as of January 1, 2016, Illinois has eliminated these grounds, and the only requirement for divorce is now "irreconcilable differences," making Illinois a no-fault divorce state. With this change in the laws, Illinois also eliminated the two year waiting period if one party objected to a divorce.

Irreconcilable Differences and No-Fault Divorce

In a no-fault divorce, neither spouse needs to blame the other for the failure of their marriage. Rather, the parties state that irreconcilable differences have led to the irretrievable breakdown of their marriage, that attempts at reconciliation have failed, and that it would not be in the best interests of the family to make any future attempts to reconcile. Either spouse may initiate a no-fault divorce.

If one spouse does not agree that their marriage has broken down due to irreconcilable differences (that is, they believe reconciliation is possible), they can contest the divorce. However, if the spouses have been living separately for six months, this is considered an irrebuttable presumption of irreconcilable differences, so if the other spouse can demonstrate that this requirement has been met, then the divorce will be granted.

To meet the requirements for living separately, spouses did not have to physically be living separate and apart. It is enough that they live like roommates rather than like husband and wife, even though they may share the same address and live under the same roof. Many people have been living in this fashion for many months, and even years, before ever contacting a lawyer or filing for divorce.

If the spouses agree that there are irreconcilable differences, there is no waiting period necessary, and their divorce judgment can be entered into the court immediately. However, they will still need to resolve any outstanding issues, including the division of marital property, the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time, and whether one spouse will pay child support or spousal maintenance to the other spouse.

Contact a Willowbrook Divorce Attorney

Whether you are considering divorcing your spouse or have been served with divorce papers and need to know what to do next, the attorneys at Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. can help you understand your rights and responsibilities and provide you with guidance about how to proceed. We can make sure you have covered all your bases and are not being taken advantage of in any way while advocating for your best interests in court and helping you reach a satisfactory resolution. Contact our Lombard divorce lawyers today at 630-472-9700 to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Westchester, and surrounding areas.

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