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The New No-Fault Divorce in Illinois

 Posted on August 12, 2016 in Divorce

no-fault divorce, Illinois divorce attorneyDivorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences has been available to couples in Illinois for several decades. For most of that time, such a divorce was just one of the options that a couple had, as one spouse could still legally look to the end the marriage based on about a dozen other so-called “fault grounds,” including adultery, abuse, or abandonment. Beginning this year, however, the landscape of divorce in the state has changed such that fault no longer has any recognized place in an Illinois marriage dissolution.

Irreconcilable Differences Only

In the summer of 2015, Illinois lawmakers passed a measure that substantially reformed the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage act on several fronts. The changes included an evolution in the state’s approach to child custody—now called the allocation of parental responsibilities—parenting time, and moving with your child to a new city. The new law also addressed the process of dissolving a marriage, eliminating all fault-related grounds from the statute. As a result, every divorce in the state will only be granted on the no-fault grounds of irreconcilable differences. It does not matter, as far as the court is concerned, which spouse did what to the other, at least as it applies to legally ending the marriage.

Separation Requirements

Over the last several decades, no-fault divorce has become the easiest, least stressful way for a couple to end their marital relationship. It does not require proving one spouse’s destructive or abusive behavior or assigning official blame for the breakdown of the marriage. The only problem, historically, is that the process often took too long to complete. The previous version of the law required spouses to live separate and apart for two years before a no-fault divorce could be granted. The separation could be reduced by mutual agreement, but it could never be less than six months.

Today, however, there is no required separation period for a no-fault divorce in Illinois. If both parties agree, the proceedings can continue immediately. In the event that one party does not agree to the divorce, a six-month separation will be seen as irrefutable proof that the marriage is beyond repair.

Get the Help You Need

If you have questions about the no-fault divorce process in Illinois, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows divorce attorney today. Call Cosley Law Office at 847-253-3100 for your free, confidential consultation and get the answers you need. We are ready to help you seek the happier, healthier future you deserve.



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