Grounds (reasons) for divorce in Chicago

Prior to 1984, Chicago residents had to show fault as proof of the breakdown of a marriage, and only the “innocent” spouse could file for divorce. However, that concept has been abandoned. The traditional fault grounds have been maintained, but the irreconcilable differences (no fault) ground has been added. Today, either party can file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

No Fault Dissolution of Marriage

In this type of divorce, the filing party does not have to prove any fault on the part of the other spouse. The most commonly used reason for divorce is irreconcilable differences, sometimes called irreparable breakdown of a marriage. This is the legal term used to say the couple cannot get along and the marriage cannot be saved. One party cannot object to the other’s petition for a no fault divorce because the court views the objection as an irreconcilable difference. There are the following requirements for a no fault divorce:

  • The spouses must have lived separately for two years. This doesn’t necessarily mean they must have lived at different locations, but they must establish that they have lived separate and apart (lived separate lives but resided as roommates).
  • There has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage due to irreconcilable differences. In other words – you cannot get along.
  • There has been a genuine attempt to repair the marriage, but it failed.
  • It would be impracticable to make further reconciliation efforts and it would be detrimental to the family.

If the parties have lived separate and apart for a minimum of six months, and both agree in writing to terminate the marriage, the two-year period may be waived.

Fault Grounds for Dissolution of Marriage

The following are recognized fault grounds for divorce:

  • Adultery
  • Bigamy
  • Physical or mental cruelty
  • Felony conviction
  • Drug or alcohol addiction for a minimum period of two years
  • Sexually transmitted disease infection by the “guilty” spouse
  • Willful desertion for at least one year

Of the two options, the no fault separation is the most straightforward and easiest to prove to the courts. Additionally, when blame is not the focal point of the proceedings, an amicable resolution is more likely, lessening the financial and emotional n toll on the family. Consult the attorneys at Corey M. Bandes and associates for immediate guidance in which grounds would be best in your situation. Call (312) 456-9309 to schedule a consultation.