The Chicago Family Law Blog

Illinois Divorce Law

Illinois divorce law includes both no-fault divorce and fault-based divorce.

A no-fault divorce generally refers to a type of divorce where the spouses do not have to prove fault or provide a specific reason to end a marriage. But just because Illinois has no-fault divorce, this does not mean that a couple can simply wake up, decide to divorce, and fill out paperwork ending their marriage.

So what does it take to dissolve a marriage under Illinois divorce law?

To file for a no-fault divorce, the couple usually has to live apart for at least two years and have irreconcilable differences in their marriage. A court then has to determine that reconciliation is impracticable. If a couple has not lived apart for two years, the couple may still be able to file for no-fault divorce if both spouses agree and file court papers. But, even this option requires the couple to have lived apart for six months.

If a couple has not lived apart for that time period, this does not mean they're stuck being married. Instead, the couple may still divorce if there is shown to be "fault" or reason justifying divorce. In Illinois, fault-based reasons for divorce can include:

  • impotence
  • wife or husband was already married at the time of marriage
  • adultery
  • excessive drug or alcohol use
  • physical and mental abuse

Illinois divorce law includes both no-fault and fault-based divorce. No-fault divorce can generally only be used if the couple has lived apart for some time, while fault-based divorce can end the marriage immediately. If you have any specific questions regarding divorce, you should contact a divorce attorney.

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