What is a No-Fault Divorce in Illinois?

Illinois has allowed no-fault divorces as part of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) for some time, but revisions to the IMDMA in 2016 turned Illinois into a pure no-fault state. This means that alleged causes for the separation are not required or recognized in the dissolution of a marriage or civil union. Currently, the IMDMA only requires irreconcilable differences as cause for divorce, meaning that the couple has been ultimately unable to work through their issues and that divorce is the best possible scenario for the family.

A no-fault divorce ensures the couple assumes shared responsibility for their decision, in the hopes of reaching an amicable separation. Conversely, at-fault divorces held one person responsible for the end of the marriage.

What Does No-Fault Divorce Mean for My Case?

While there used to be a mandatory separation period before any divorce proceedings could begin, if you and your spouse can both agree from the start that you have irreconcilable differences, your case can proceed without the typical waiting period.

Without an agreement between both parties, the couple must live apart for at least six months before finalizing their divorce. Even if one party fails to accept irreconcilable differences as the official reason, the separation period will act as the deciding factor, and parties can get divorced.

Although Illinois requires no justification beyond irreconcilable differences, a no-fault divorce does not mean a no-consequence divorce. Ending a marriage or civil union will likely affect your taxes, impact your business, and require conversations about child custody — this is in addition to any premarital/prenuptial agreements.

When Should I Seek a Divorce?

Although Illinois courts do not recognize specific reasons other than of irreconcilable differences for a divorce, there are still many underlying reasons why a marriage may come to an end. While you may have entered your union or marriage with certain understandings, people change over time, and sometimes their values and needs fall out of sync; a lack of intimacy, trust, or emotional or financial support can lead to deep rooted problems.

Counseling and mediation can be helpful ways to work through difficult circumstances, but if a dedicated effort toward resolution does not seem feasible, it may be time to consider a divorce for the sake of your and your family’s well-being.

Conniff Law Offices offer knowledgeable, experienced support and guidance during difficult times, and can help you navigate the ins and outs of divorce proceedings. If you are looking for a Chicago divorce lawyer you can trust, contact our understanding team of attorneys today.

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