Illinois No-Fault Divorce Laws

By Beverly Bird

Most Illinois couples who decide to part ways use the state’s irreconcilable differences ground for divorce. Although this is not technically a no-fault rule, it is the closest thing to it that Illinois offers. If you file divorce papers on grounds of irreconcilable differences, you don’t have to accuse your spouse of fault or of doing anything wrong in order to obtain a legal end to your marriage.

Definition of Irreconcilable Differences

Claiming irreconcilable differences means that you no longer want to be married and there is nothing your spouse can do to change your mind. In legal terms, this is an irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. To use this ground, your spouse must agree that this is true. If he believes that the marriage can be saved, he can object to your use of that ground. If he does, the matter becomes contested and is no longer a no-fault divorce. You must also agree on the terms of a divorce settlement, such as property distribution, child support and custody. At the very least, you should be close enough to an agreement on these things that you can iron them out with a minimum of fuss so the court is not required to step in and make decisions for you.

Waiting Period

Illinois has a two-year separation rule for its version of no-fault divorce, but if you and your spouse agree that irreconcilable differences have ended your marriage, you can mutually waive the waiting period to some extent. The court will allow your divorce after six months if you both sign an agreement that this is what you want. You don’t have to wait until you’ve lived separately for six months before you file for divorce, but the court won’t finalize your matter until the six-month period has passed. The court also has to decide that reconciliation is impracticable. If you don’t have an agreement regarding marital issues, you can use this time to reach one.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Separate Residences

In a landmark Illinois case decided in 1989, the court ruled that you do not necessarily have to live in separate residences to qualify as legally separated. If you and your spouse are still under the same roof, but he’s sleeping in the den, you’re not intimate and you rarely cross paths, the court will generally accept this as a separation.

Other Factors

You must live in Illinois for at least three months immediately preceding the date on which you file for divorce. When you appear in court to finalize your divorce after the six-month waiting period has elapsed, the judge will expect you to either verbally tell him the terms of your settlement agreement or provide him with a signed copy of one.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Divorce & Legal Separation Laws in Pennsylvania

References

Related articles

Do I Have to Be Separated Before a Divorce If My Husband Cheated in North Carolina?

North Carolina is one of the easiest states in which to get a divorce, but at the same time, some of its statutes can complicate the divorce process. Unlike most states, you and your spouse don't have to resolve all issues to end your marriage, but you must live separate and apart from each other for at least a year to get a traditional divorce. If your spouse is guilty of marital misconduct such as adultery, however, North Carolina offers an alternative to the one-year waiting period.

Can You Get Divorced in Pennsylvania Without a Court Appearance?

When spouses hotly contest issues between them, this invariably requires at least one court appearance so a judge can resolve the disputes before granting them a divorce. This is true in every state. However, if you and your spouse can reach an agreement on all issues between you, Pennsylvania is particularly lenient about allowing you to divorce without appearing in court. The state’s legislation offers two options if you and your spouse want to be divorced with a minimum of fuss.

Michigan No-Fault Divorce Law

Michigan is a true no-fault divorce state; you cannot receive a divorce on any other grounds. There aren't any fault options available. This makes filing for divorce relatively simple and contesting the divorce, itself, virtually impossible. However, in some cases, the court can still address a spouse's misconduct.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Is There Such Thing As a Legal Separation in Pennsylvania?

Legal separation isn’t available in Pennsylvania. If you are no longer living as a married couple, divorce is the only ...

Can I Waive the Length of Separation Requirements in an Illinois Divorce?

Illinois doesn't make it as easy to divorce as some other states. It recognizes no-fault grounds, but with a catch. The ...

How to Get a Non-Contested Divorce in Illinois

An uncontested, or non-contested, divorce is typically considered the easiest way to end your marriage. It's less ...

Arkansas Laws for Separation

Marital separation can be particularly complicated in Arkansas because the state recognizes two types of marriages and ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED