Does Illinois law recognize no-fault divorce?

A divorce is a legal process that dissolves the relationship between two people who are joined in marriage. In order to file for divorce in Lake County and other areas of the state, at least one of the parties to the divorce must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days. When they prepare their pleading to file for divorce, they will have to decide if their divorce will move forward on fault or no-fault grounds.

A no-fault divorce is one in which neither of the parties has to show that the actions of the other is the reason for the end of their marriage. In Illinois, a person may claim that their marriage has been irretrievably broken and cannot be fixed. Alternatively, if two married people decide to separate and maintain their separation for at least 2 years, they can proceed to divorce court on no-fault grounds.

The state still recognizes fault-based reasons for ending marriages. These reasons include but are not limited to adultery, violence, impotency, criminal conviction, and attempted murder of spouse. A person can choose to use one of these or the other fault grounds for divorce in their initial pleading, but generally when fault is alleged it must be discussed and possibly proven once the divorce goes to trial.

Not everyone wants to discuss the ugly or difficult aspects of their marriages in court, and as such no-fault divorce provides a good option for ending marriages. Before filing for divorce, however, a person should discuss the process of ending their marriage with a family law attorney. These professionals can provide their clients with assistances so that they make educated and informed decisions about their legal options.

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