Three Things You Need to Know About Divorce in Illinois

divorce, DuPage County divorce lawyerIf you have reached the point in your marriage where divorce is becoming more and more of a possibility, it is time to start gathering information about the process. Ending a marriage is going to be challenging, even in the most amicable of situations. You may be able to alleviate some of the difficult by becoming familiar with a few basic concepts that pertain to divorce in Illinois.

Grounds for Divorce

For many generations, a married person could seek a divorce on the basis—or grounds—that his or her spouse engaged in certain behaviors, including adultery, repeated mental and physical cruelty, patterns of substance abuse, and abandonment. Beginning in 2016, however, this is no longer the case in Illinois. Today, a divorce will only be granted on the grounds the irreconcilable differences have led to the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

What Are Irreconcilable Differences?

Under Illinois law, “irreconcilable differences” are applied very broadly to a wide range of relationship situations. Irreconcilable differences may develop out of the behaviors that once constituted grounds for divorce or due to countless other factors. Religious disagreements, for example, or opposing philosophies regarding money or parenting could be considered irreconcilable differences if they push the marriage to its breaking point and beyond.

It is important to note that the law permits a divorce to be granted only if the marriage has undergone an “irretrievable breakdown.” This means that the court has determined that reconciliation efforts have failed and the continuing to try to save the marriage would be futile or not in the family’s best interests.

Separation Requirements

While it is certainly common for spouses to live separately for a few months or longer before filing for divorce, there is no longer a legal requirement for them to do so. Prior to 2016, a couple seeking a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences was required to live “separate and apart” for up to two years before divorce. The separation could be as little as six months upon agreement of the spouses but could not be avoided entirely. Today, a separation period is only required if both spouses are not in agreement that the divorce should take place. Then, a six-month separation is considered irrefutable proof that the marriage has been broken down by irreconcilable differences.

Speak With a Divorce Lawyer

Before you make any decisions regarding your divorce, contact an experienced Aurora family law attorney for guidance. We will help you understand the law and your options so that you can obtain the best possible outcome. Call [[phone]] for a confidential consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., today.



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