He Ruined Our Marriage, Does He Owe Me?

misconduct, divorce, Illinois divorce attorneyWhen your spouse has engaged in behavior that is destructive to your relationship, it is not unreasonable to want to extract a measure of recompense. If his infidelity or her continued verbal abuse caused your marriage to break down, you may feel entitled to some type of restitution or other consideration to help alleviate your loss. While such a reaction may be a normal part of the grieving process inherent to divorce, the law in Illinois does not really provide such relief.

No Recognized Fault

For many years, it was possible to obtain a divorce on fault grounds in the state of Illinois. Doing so required proof of a spouse’s wrongdoing, which could often be very difficult, but the judgment actually reflected a specific reason for the divorce. Such grounds included adultery, physical or mental abuse, abandonment, habitual substance abuse, and the commission of an infamous crime. Divorce proceedings involving fault, however, were rarely conducive to amicable settlements, which has become a major focus of divorce laws around the country. In keeping with such trends, Illinois has eliminated fault grounds for divorce beginning in 2016. Now, no matter what may have happened within the marriage, a divorce will only be granted on the no-fault grounds of irreconcilable differences.

Property and Maintenance

So, maybe you cannot get the court to acknowledge your spouse’s wrongdoing in divorce judgment. But, it should still be possible to be granted additional financial considerations, right?  Wrong. The statutes regarding property division and spousal maintenance—sometimes called alimony—have long prevented a spouse’s behavior from being taken into account. In fact, the law states that such determinations must be made “without regard to marital misconduct.” This also applies to proceedings for child support, as well. The problem with considering marital misconduct is that it is impossible to place a monetary value on marriage. Requiring a party to pay a certain amount or allocate a certain value of property to the other spouse as retribution would require the court to do exactly that.

Professional Representation for Your Divorce

While you may not be able to ask the court to punish your spouse for his or her behavior, you do have the right to an equitable divorce settlement and we are prepared to help you protect that right. Contact an experienced Rolling Meadows family law attorney today to schedule your free initial consultation. Call 847-253-3100 for an appointment.




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