There is now only one ground for divorce that we use in the state of Illinois to satisfy the court requirement that there has to be a ground to dissolve a marriage. Without a ground, you cannot proceed to a divorce case or you cannot proceed to finalization of a divorce case, because there has to be something giving cause to the party filing the divorce case.
The only ground that is used today is irreconcilable differences. Under irreconcilable differences, the parties are basically stating that they have made attempts to work out their differences, those attempts have been unsuccessful, it’s nobody’s fault that we have these differences, and we feel that the marriage has reached an irretrievable breakdown, not salvageable.
The waiting period for irreconcilable differences in Illinois is six months. The six-month period does not mean that the parties have lived separate and apart, meaning two separate households. It simply means that the parties have not functioned properly as husband and wife, the marriage has broken down, and it has been at least six months since the parties have functioned properly.