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Grounds for Divorce in Illinois

 Posted on February 11, 2015 in Divorce

Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois marriage laws,Sometimes a marriage just does not work out and a spouse decides to file for divorce. Divorce proceedings can be confusing before they even begin and some are left wondering where to begin. Many people do not consult a divorce lawyer until after filing the paperwork at the courthouse and realize the stated reason may not be sufficient enough to have the petition granted.

Determining which type of divorce to file should be one of the first steps. The spouse filing for a divorce, or dissolution of marriage, in Illinois can file for a "grounds," or fault divorce, or an "irreconcilable differences," or no- fault, divorce. The spouse filing for divorce has to weigh the reason(s) they are filing for divorce and determine which to state on the paperwork.

Grounds Divorce

Filing for a "grounds" divorce leaves all burden of proof on the spouse filing. When a spouse files for a grounds divorce, they are saying there is a specific reason they do not want to, or can no longer, be married to their spouse. Illinois requires the spouse filing for divorce to state a reason cited in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act when they file.

Grounds for divorce include:

  • Had or has a wife or husband living at time of marriage;
  • Adultery;
  • Willingly abandoned spouse and/or family for one year;
  • Habitual drunkenness or drug addiction for at least two years;
  • Has attempted to take the life of the spouse;
  • Mental or physical abuse;
  • Conviction of a felony; or
  • Infected the spouse with a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Irreconcilable Differences Divorce

When "irreconcilable differences" is stated as the reason for divorce, no specific reason needs to be given. The spouse filing for divorce has to prove there has been a breakdown in the marriage and there is no way to repair it, previous attempts to fix the marriage have failed, or that staying together would do more harm than good to the family. The condition for filing an irreconcilable differences divorce is that the couple must have continuously lived apart for at least two years.

Which Reason to State

There is no "one size fits all" divorce. Each case is different and should be treated with the attention it deserves. When filing for divorce, a reason must be stated and then sufficiently proven to the judge's satisfaction. Before stating a reason on the divorce papers, careful consideration should be given. The experienced family and divorce lawyers at Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC can help you through the entire process to help you understand how the divorce process works and help decide which is the best option. If you have decided to file for a divorce, or are trying to figure out if a divorce is the right decision for you, contact an experienced Wheaton family attorney today.

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