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What does Illinois law say about conciliation prior to divorce?


When a couple in Illinois chooses to dissolve their marriage and part ways, there are certain state laws that must be adhered to for it to be completed appropriately. In some instances, the case is such that the end of a marriage is inevitable. However, there are times when the court believes conciliation is a worthwhile endeavor to attempt in an effort to avoid divorce.

With conciliation, the court has the right to determine that there is a chance that the couple can put aside their differences and preserve the marriage. In doing so, at the request of either spouse or on its own, a court may order a conciliation conference. This will include the aforementioned conference and counseling at a court conciliation service in the jurisdiction in which the proceedings occur. If there is no established location in the jurisdiction, it can be held at a similar facility.

When there is the conciliation conference, the facts that come to light will not be taken into account in a pending or subsequent action. A report from the proceeding will not become part of the court's record unless the parties agree to it in writing. If good cause is indicated, conciliation or any other process requiring that the parties meet and engage in a conference without counsel can be prohibited by the court.

Ending a marriage can yield significant emotions. There can be many reasons for it choosing to divorce, and not every option is applicable to every case. If conciliation can help save a marriage and the parties are interested in doing so, then it is a worthwhile option. Some marriages cannot be saved, though. Those who have questions about conciliation or need assistance with a divorce should think about discussing the case with a qualified legal professional to better understand their legal options.

Source: Illinois General Assembly, "Sec. 404. Conciliation.," accessed on Aug. 2, 2016

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