Illinois No Fault Divorce

Don’t think in a few words that I can explain to you how to acquire a “no-fault” divorce — but I can convey to you the essence of the concept.

In a traditional divorce there are ten grounds that can be alleged: physical and mental cruelty, adultery, etc. In such a divorce, there must be a bad spouse and a good spouse, or even two bad spouses. In a no-fault divorce, there can be no bad guys, just a failed marriage.

The law requires that in order to allege no-fault as grounds, the couple must have lived separate and apart for a period of two years. Or, if both parties so choose, they can waive that two year period, and instead inform the court that they have lived separate and apart for six months. The actual meaning of living separate and apart is left to the judge to determine.

Case law has provided the following possible elements of living separate and apart. Such an interpretation of the meaning of separate and apart can permit even a couple residing in the same place, to allege living separate and apart. At least one appellate court interpreted separate and apart as meaning that the couple must live separate lives, even if they live under the same roof. The judge can use a combination of some or all of these if he so chooses, the couple: no longer sleeping together, living in separate bedrooms, doing their own laundry, having ceased marital relations, eating meals at different times, taking separate vacations, avoiding conversation or communication, providing no contributions to household expenses, or other indications that the relationship has ceased.

A divorce is something that if done incorrectly, can haunt you for nearly the rest of your life. Especially if there is property to be divided, or if there are children, you will probably never benefit by the advice of a lawyer greater than during a divorce.

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