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Illinois is a “no-fault” state for divorce: What does that mean?

When you decide to divorce, it may be a result of the behavior of one party. Alternatively, it might just be that the relationship is no longer working in the way that it should. 

No matter what the reason, going through the process of divorce is a difficult and emotional one. Most separating couples want things to be finalized as quickly, and with at least stress, as possible which is why they opt for a “no-fault” divorce.

The only ground is “irreconcilable differences”

This means that an Illinois court will no longer recognize typical “at-fault” grounds such as adultery, abandonment and substance abuse.

By citing “irreconcilable differences”, there is no need to make one party to the marriage responsible for the divorce. In fact, it’s simply not allowed. This helps to make the process of divorcing less contentious as it removes some of the conflict that comes with arguing over the reason why the divorce is happening.

What do you need to prove?

In order to be granted a “no-fault” divorce in Illinois, you need to be able to prove these things:

  1. That irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage
  2. Efforts at reconciliation with your spouse in the past have failed, and
  3. Future efforts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family

If the parties to the marriage have been living separate and apart for a period of at least six months before the judgment dissolving the marriage, there is an irrebuttable presumption that the requirement of irreconcilable differences has been met. This means that there is no option for either party to argue that the ground does not apply.

Divorcing is something that no one ever expects, or wants, to have to go through. Having experienced legal help on your side helps you to navigate the process as smoothly and quickly as possible.


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