His fault? Her fault? In Illinois, a no-fault state when it comes to divorcing your spouse, all fault-based grounds for dissolving a marriage are not applicable. Yep, fault-based grounds like infidelity and mental cruelty are out the window, just to name a couple. “Irreconcilable differences” has always been one of the options when pursuing a divorce from your spouse but is now the only option in Illinois divorce.
What is the definition of “irreconcilable differences”? It is defined by the court when those irreconcilable differences caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and the court determines that efforts at reconciliation have failure or that future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interest of the family.
If you and your spouse agree that irreconcilable differences have arisen in your marriage, there is technically no waiting period to enter your divorce decree. However, if one spouse is contesting the grounds of irreconcilable differences, then there is a requirement that the parties live separate and apart for a continuous period of not less than 6 months immediately preceding the entry of the judgment dissolving the marriage and there is an irrebuttable presumption that the requirement of irreconcilable differences has been met. Huh? This means that even if your spouse contests that there have been irreconcilable differences, so long as you live separate and apart for six months, you will be able to proceed with your dissolution.
Reach out to the lawyers at www.wardfamilylawchicago.com to learn more about grounds and the timing of your divorce filing.
Jennifer R. Ward has exclusively practiced in the matrimonial and family law field for nearly 20 years. Furthermore, Ms. Ward is Adjunct Faculty at the John Marshall Law School teaching family law legal drafting to law students and has done so since 2005.