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Online Divorce in Illinois

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Home / Grounds for Divorce in Illinois

Grounds For Divorce in Illinois

Like many states, Illinois has evolved its divorce laws to reflect more modern understandings of marriage and separation.

It is important for those considering divorce in Illinois to understand the legal grounds upon which a divorce can be filed, as the state has specific requirements that must be met.

No-Fault Divorce State

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that a divorce can be granted without the need to prove wrongdoing by either spouse.

The primary ground for divorce in Illinois is "irreconcilable differences," which indicates that the marriage has broken down beyond repair and efforts at reconciliation have failed or are not in the best interests of the family.

Grounds for Divorce

Irreconcilable Differences:

  • Definition: This ground asserts that the spouses have such significant differences that they cannot stay married. The state requires that the spouses have lived apart for a continuous period of not less than six months before the divorce is granted, which is considered proof that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
  • Application: It is the most commonly cited reason for divorce in Illinois. The court does not require spouses to live separately for six months before filing for divorce, but the divorce cannot be finalized until this period has passed.
  • Advantages: Filing under irreconcilable differences allows for a smoother divorce process, as it does not place blame on either party for the breakdown of the marriage.

Key Points

  • Simplified Process: Illinois law simplifies the divorce process by recognizing irreconcilable differences as sufficient grounds for divorce, without the need for further proof of fault.
  • Mandatory Separation Period: The requirement of a six-month separation period serves as concrete evidence of irreconcilable differences. However, this period can be waived if both parties agree in writing.
  • Focus on Resolution: The no-fault approach encourages a focus on resolution and moving forward, rather than dwelling on past conflicts and assigning blame.

Conclusion

In Illinois, the grounds for divorce are designed to facilitate a respectful and straightforward end to a marriage. By focusing on irreconcilable differences and removing the necessity to prove fault, the state aims to reduce the emotional and financial strain often associated with divorce proceedings.

This approach supports the well-being of all involved parties, allowing them to focus on healing and starting anew. Whether through mediation, negotiation, or litigation, the emphasis is on finding amicable solutions that respect the interests of spouses and children.

Divorce Process

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Step 3

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Step 4

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