Grounds for Divorce in Illinois

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What Is Divorce?

A divorce is the legal ending to a marriage between two people. Once a divorce is finalized, each individual is free to remarry someone else. In Illinois, the grounds for divorce has changed with the update to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The Act outlines how issues like child custody, visitation, and divorce are resolved.

What Are Grounds for Divorce in Illinois?

Grounds for divorce are reasons a spouse needs to legally end a marriage. Prior to the change in the Act, there were 13 grounds, or reasons, a spouse could choose from in order to get a divorce. Starting in 2016, there is only one: Irreconcilable differences.

What Are Irreconcilable Differences?

Irreconcilable differences means neither spouse is at fault for the marriage ending in divorce. It is a good way not to assign blame such as abuse or infidelity in court documents. 

Is There Still a Waiting Period to Obtain a Divorce?

No. To speed up the process of ending a marriage, the Act no long requires a waiting period to file for a divorce. However, this is only if both parties agree to get a divorce.

What If My Spouse Plans to Contest the Divorce?

The divorce is on hold for six months if it is contested by a spouse. Therefore, the Act only changes the time limit for a non-contested divorce.

How Long Will a Final Judgment Take?

According to the new law, a final Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage will be entered within 60 days of closing of proofs required. The only time it will take longer is if the court enters an order to specify with good cause that the judgment shouldn’t be recorded.

Is It Important to Talk to a Lawyer Regarding the New Illinois Divorce Laws?

Yes. It’s extremely important to a family law attorney to understand your rights under the new divorce laws.

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Last Modified: 01-18-2016 10:34 AM PST

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