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Do you have to prove fault to file for divorce in Illinois?

Spouses cannot end their marriage just because they want to. Before they can file for divorce, they must have legal grounds to do so. Sometimes, these grounds are forms of misconduct, such as adultery or cruelty. Nonetheless, this does not always mean a spouse must establish fault on the part of the other to legally end the marriage, at least not in all states.

Not in a no-fault divorce state

Illinois is a purely no-fault divorce state, which means spouses do not have to prove fault to initiate a divorce petition. Instead, separating spouses must only show that they have irreconcilable differences which has led to the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

How do you know if the marriage is irretrievably broken? While there is no definition set in stone, there are instances that can demonstrate this concept, such as:

  • The spouses living separately, whether in the same or separate households, for six months prior to the divorce petition
  • The spouses have made efforts at reconciliation but failed
  • That any future attempts to reconcile would not be in the family’s best interests

Ultimately, the unique facts and circumstances surrounding each case will determine whether a marriage suffers from irretrievable breakdown, establishing a ground for divorce in Illinois.

Knowledge is a path toward new beginnings

When it comes to ending a marriage in Illinois, it is important to have a clear grasp of what the law requires. Knowing whether you need to prove your spouse was at fault can greatly affect how you approach your divorce. With the right information and legal guidance, you can decide according to your situation and needs, ensuring a smooth transition into your new beginnings.

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