Married couples can file for divorce in Illinois regardless of fault. Traditional “at fault” grounds include adultery, physical or mental cruelty, alcohol abuse, and impotence. But as of 2016, Illinois divorces can be based on “irreconcilable differences,” which are a “no-fault” reason for divorce. “No-fault” is exactly what it sounds like: neither spouse is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage.
However, in some cases, the court or the spouses may decide that there is a chance for reconciliation. For example, the couple might benefit from marriage counseling or an opportunity to work out marital conflict. If the court or parties think reconciliation is possible then the court may order a conciliation conference. But just because there is a chance for reconciliation doesn’t mean the parties actually will - or have to - reconcile.
The Conciliation Conference
Here are a few things you should know about a court-ordered conciliation conference:
- Each judicial district either has an established court conciliation service or it uses a similar service at another facility. That is where the conference and counseling take place.
- If the parties don’t reconcile and the divorce proceedings continue, the parties cannot use any facts mentioned in the conference in the divorce proceeding.
- Similarly, any report produced at the conference won’t be added to the case record unless both parties agree to it in writing.
- The court may prohibit conciliation or anything that requires the parties to meet without attorneys present if there is a good reason to do so.
If the parties cannot work out their differences then the divorce proceedings will continue.
When Will the Court Dissolve a Marriage?
The court will enter a judgment of dissolution of marriage under the following circumstances:
- At least one spouse was a resident of Illinois or stationed in Illinois as a member of the armed services for at least 90 days before the divorce proceedings began.
- The court determines that “irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” and reconciliation failed and future attempts at reconciliation “would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family.”
- If the parties have been separated and living apart for at least six months before the entry of judgment dissolving the marriage the court will presume that there are irreconcilable differences.
Once the court enters the judgment of dissolution of marriage the parties are officially divorced. If the parties reconcile after the fact then they would have to remarry.
Contact Us Today for Assistance
Our talented Naperville family law attorneys at the Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC, can help you file for divorce, whatever the reason. Contact us today for a free consultation. We can also explain the conciliation process if that is a factor in your case.