Grounds for an Illinois Divorce

Each state in the country sets its own laws regarding how marriage and divorce are to be handled. Although these laws are often similar, there can sometimes be a vast difference in how states address the different aspects of a dissolution of marriage. Grounds for divorce is one area where the laws often differ from state to state.

For example, there is a bill pending in Oklahoma which would make the “guilty” party in a divorce pay the other spouse. Under current Oklahoma law, a person can file for divorce on the grounds of abandonment, adultery, extreme cruelty, fraudulent contract, impotency, or incompatibility. However, if the new law passes, incompatibility would no longer be a grounds for divorce if the couple has minor children, have been married for more than 10 years, or one of the spouses object to the divorce. The “injured” spouse would also receive a greater share of the marital estate.

It is unlikely that a law like this would be passed in Illinois. In fact, last year, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act had a complete overhaul and one of the many changes that lawmakers passed had to do with divorce grounds.

Prior to the changes, Illinois couples were required to prove they had grounds to end their marriage similar to the current grounds in Oklahoma. Now, however, a person only needs to cite “irreconcilable differences” as the cause for the breakdown of their marriage.

There were other changes to the law which aimed to help make the divorce process go smoother and quicker, especially in divorces where both spouses agree that the marriage should end. If there is that agreement, then there is no waiting period for filing for divorce. In the event one of the spouses objects to the divorce, then the couple must live apart for at least six months before the divorce action can be filed with the court.

Another change to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act last year was the residency requirements for divorce. Under the current rules, at least one spouse has to have been a resident of Illinois for at least 90 days before the divorce action was filed. It is not required that both spouses live in Illinois at the time of the filing. For example, if a woman living in Indiana leaves her husband and moves to Illinois, 90 days later, she can file for divorce in the county of which she resides.

If you have decided that your marriage has hit an irretrievable breakdown and you want to end it, contact a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney to discuss your legal options. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at 630-355-5222 to schedule your confidential consultation today.


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