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Filing for Divorce in Illinois: Grounds
In addition to the residency requirements that you must have to file for divorce in Illinois, you must also have proper grounds for divorce. Proper grounds are generally divided into two categories: divorce by no fault of either spouse or divorce by fault of your spouse. Read what we have to say, but remember that everything in these cases is negotiable and if both parties want a divorce, you can usually get one fairly quickly.
A divorce by no fault of either spouse is commonly known as a divorce due to irreconcilable differences. In Illinois, a divorce qualifies under this category when both spouses have lived separate and apart for a continuous period of at least 2 years if there are children or six months without children and when irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. The court must determine that the efforts at reconciliation have failed or that future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family. The requirement of living separate and may be waived upon written stipulation of both spouses filed with the court. Living apart can be living under the same roof, but not being intimate. Irreconcilable differences are the most common grounds for an amicable divorce.
A divorce by the fault of your spouse is proper in Illinois when: your spouse has been and continues to be naturally impotent; your spouse had a wife or husband living while married to you; your spouse committed adultery after your marriage; your spouse willfully deserted or absented himself/herself from you for one year, including any time period during the divorce proceedings; your spouse has been engaged in habitual drunkenness for 2 years; your spouse is guilty of gross and confirmed habits caused by excessive use of addictive drugs (the drug(s) have become a controlling or dominant purpose of their life) for 2 years; your spouse has attempted to take your life through poisoning or other means of malice; your spouse has subjected you to extreme and repeated physical or mental cruelty; your spouse has been convicted of a felony or other infamous crime; or your spouse infected you with a sexually transmitted disease.
Don't freak out if your spouse alleges mental cruelty when they file for divorce. In most instances, this is done when a spouse (or their lawyer) is worried that the waiting period won't be waived by the court. It's ridiculous, but that is how these things really work.
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Findgreatlawyers.com is a free service, run by Illinois lawyers, to find an attorney or obtain guidance for any Illinois legal matter, including Illinois divorce cases. If you are involved in or anticipating a divorce, our goal is to answer your questions honestly. Please call us at (312) 346-5320 or (800) 517-1614 or fill out our contact us form and we will contact you. All inquiries are kept in strict confidence.