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What does it mean that Illinois is a “no-fault” state in divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2023 | Divorce |

It’s sometimes the case that one party’s actions cause their spouse’s decision to get divorced. Another possibility is that a marriage is simply no longer working as it should. With that said, divorce is a stressful and emotionally draining process, regardless of the cause. Most divorcing couples choose to opt for a “no-fault” divorce because they want to end their relationship quickly and with as little difficulty as possible.

Illinois courts no longer recognize typical “at-fault” grounds such as adultery, abandonment and substance abuse. As a result, “no-fault” divorce is generally how Illinois cases progress.

Citing “irreconcilable differences” takes away the necessity of compelling one party to blame the other for the divorce. What this achieves is making the process of divorcing less contentious overall. It removes some of the conflict that comes with arguing over the reason why the divorce is happening.

What proof is needed for a divorce in Illinois?

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

There is an irrebuttable presumption that the requirement of irreconcilable differences has been met if the parties to the marriage have been living separately and apart for a period of at least six months prior to the judgment dissolving the marriage. This means that neither side has the option to claim 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 can help you to navigate the process as smoothly and quickly as possible.