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Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce in Illinois

Last updated 2 years ago

The process of obtaining a divorce can be complicated without the help of a skilled divorce lawyer. That’s because divorce laws fall under state jurisdiction, which allows each state to establish its own residency and filing requirements. In order to petition for a divorce in Illinois, you must have resided in Illinois for 90 days prior to filing your paperwork. Moreover, you must decide between two grounds for dissolution of marriage. Continue reading to learn about the differences between filing for a fault or a no-fault divorce in Illinois:

Fault Divorce

There are 9 different reasons why a fault divorce may be legally sought in Illinois. A spouse can petition for a divorce based on such common faults as adultery, long-term abandonment, imprisonment, and physical or mental cruelty. This waives the standard 2-year separation period that is required for a no-fault divorce so that your petition may be processed more quickly. However, filing on grounds of fault means that your spouse has violated your marital contract, which can be challenging to prove if the accused spouse denies the charge.

No-Fault Divorce

If you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences, you can file for a no-fault divorce, which is the most common grounds for filing for a divorce in the country. In Illinois, this shared agreement requires that you maintain separate residencies for 6 months. When you or your spouse is unwilling to separate, your mandatory separation will increase to a 2-year period. After that point, the divorce can be finalized for any reason.

Divorce is not only lengthy, but also emotionally trying. Hiring an experienced family law attorney can significantly ease the process by providing you with the legal advice and resources to reach a satisfactory conclusion. If you are in St. Louis area, don’t hesitate to contact the office of Dixon & Johnston, P.C. at (618) 233-1103. Call us or visit our Belleville location to schedule your confidential case evaluation.


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