Your wedding day is likely the happiest day of your life. When couples get married they don’t expect the union to end in divorce. Unfortunately, couples sometimes grow apart and fall out of love over time. In some instances, couples decide to get divorced. The divorce rate in Illinois is about 6.6%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
While this rate is one of the lowest in the country, plenty of marriages end in divorce in Illinois. Once you make the decision to divorce you must follow the proper rules and procedures in order to end your marriage. Skilled Crystal Lake divorce attorneys will help guide the divorce process to help make the process as stress-free as possible.
Grounds for Divorce in Illinois
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act sets forth reasons or grounds for divorce in Illinois. The law was updated in 2016 to provide for no-fault divorce. Before the changes, divorce was fault-based. Couples needed to choose the grounds on which they based their divorce.
For example, some of the grounds for divorce included adultery, mental cruelty, and others. Now, couples do not have to place blame on their partner in order to obtain a divorce. Couples can now opt for a pure, no-fault divorce when they have irreconcilable differences.
What is No-Fault Divorce in Illinois?
A no-fault divorce means that the couple is not able to live together as partners. Couples must show that they are incompatible and have differences that do not allow for reconciliation. A couple can obtain a divorce due to irreconcilable differences. Couples no longer need to use any grounds for divorce as in the past.
A no-fault divorce is just as it sounds. It does not place blame on either partner for the ending of the union. All states have some form of no-fault divorce or grounds such as irreconcilable differences. Illinois is one of the states that uses pure no-fault. This simply means that there are no other reasons for divorce.
Benefits of No-Fault Divorce in Illinois
No-fault divorce in Illinois allows a couple to end their marriage in a faster and easier manner. As long as couples agree that they are not able to resolve their differences, they can obtain a no-fault divorce.
No-fault divorces are often more amicable and couples can more easily maintain a civil uncoupling. A no-fault divorce in which both parties agree is usually smoother and disagreements can often be resolved more easily. Therefore, a no-fault divorce can be less costly. A no-fault divorce may be better when children are involved because both parents are better able to maintain a friendly relationship for the sake of the children. Knowledgeable Crystal Lake divorce lawyers will answer your questions and assist you through the divorce process.
How Does Marital Misconduct Impact Divorce?
Illinois utilizes equitable property distribution guidelines when allocating property and assets to each spouse. Generally, assets that were acquired during the marriage, also called marital property, are to be distributed in an equitable manner to both parties. Although marital misconduct is no longer used as grounds for divorce, it is still considered in other parts of the dissolution of marriage.
A judge may review marital misconduct and use it when considering settlement terms such as distribution of assets, alimony, and child time-sharing. The judge will evaluate the misconduct and make decisions based on the severity of the actions. Then, the judge will make adjustments to the settlement based on the findings.
What Happens When Spouses Don’t Agree?
There are times when one or the other partner does not want to get divorced. When a couple doesn’t agree to end their marriage, it is known as a contested divorce. One way to move forward with a divorce in Illinois is to separate. Marital separation for a period of six months is a precursor to dissolving a marriage in cases where spouses are not in agreement. Separation is an irrebuttable proof that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Therefore, if a couple separates they can petition for a divorce, even if one party is not in complete agreement.
Separation Requirement for Divorce in Illinois
The latest laws in Illinois do not require separation before divorce for couples who seek a no-fault divorce. However, there is still a separation requirement for those couples seeking to end their marriages without a no-fault divorce. Optimally, couples should move away from each other and each should maintain their own residences during separation.
While some states require that couples live apart in individual residences in order to be considered “separated”. Illinois does not have that stringent requirement. Instead, Illinois recognizes that a couple may be separated even if they still live under the same roof. In order to qualify as separate, a couple must live separate lives, sleep separately from each other, and maintain their own individual finances.
Can I Date During Separation?
While separated, couples must be living separately and apart. However, it is important to keep in mind that you are still considered legally married until the divorce is finalized. While there is no specific requirement that prevents you from dating during this period, it is something you may want to avoid.
Couples who are separated may be unsure about their divorce. If one or both parties begin dating during this time, it can give the appearance of marital misconduct. Marital misconduct can negatively impact a fair settlement. It is usually best to remain alone until the marriage legally ends.
Contact Our Experienced Crystal Lake Divorce Lawyers
While you don’t have to live apart for any specific period of time prior to seeking a divorce, it is often a necessary part of making changes in your life. If you are seeking to end your marriage and your partner isn’t yet ready to call it quits, it can make for a difficult and challenging situation. Experienced Crystal Lake divorce lawyers understand the many issues that arise during this stressful time in your life.
Our compassionate legal team will review your situation and discuss options that are open to you so you can choose the best path for you and your family. Our Crystal Lake divorce lawyers are here to assist you, answer your questions, and guide the process during this tough time. Contact our legal team today at Bruning & Associates at (815) 455-3000 to schedule a consultation.