State Laws

Illinois Divorce


Illinois Divorce Law Details
The sad truth about some marriages is that they just weren't meant to last. On the bright side, the divorce rate across the nation is actually down. This is true in Illinois where there were just over 32,000 divorces in 2007. That's certainly lower then the 1979 high of over 52,000 divorces.

In some cases, Illinois divorce court judges can require mandatory reconciliation therapy if the court thinks there might be a glimmer of hope of the couple staying together. If not, then divorce proceedings can begin if you've been a resident of Illinois for at least 90 days.

Depending on the circumstances, the proceedings can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to several years. Additionally, it costs anywhere from $250 to $300 to simply file the divorce petitions

Grounds for Divorce in Illinois
As with most other states, Illinois grants no fault and fault divorces. The person filing for the divorced is called the petitioner whereas the other side is referred to as the respondent. The primary factor considered in a no fault divorce is if the couple has lived apart for a continuous period of time. If it's been two years or more, the no fault divorce will be quickly granted.

The two year clause can be waived if the couple has lived apart for at least six months and can prove that they've reached irreconcilable differences with no hope of salvaging the marriage.

There are several factors that can be applied for a fault divorce in Illinois. If the respondent is naturally impotent or has another wife and family at the time of the marriage these would be considered grounds for a divorce. The same holds if the respondent has committed adultery, abandoned the spouse, has been deemed to be a substance abuser for at least two years, convicted of a felony or found guilty of mental or physical abuse.

Lastly, if the respondent transmitted a sexual disease that is also considered grounds for divorce in Illinois.

Splitting the Property in an Illinois Divorce
Illinois is considered an "equitable distribution state." This means that any property or assets that were obtained or created during the time of the marriage will be divided equally. The exceptions are if a spouse received any gifts or inheritance outside of the marriage.

Factored into the dissolution of the property would be any pre-nuptial agreements and child custody issues. The court can also consider what kind of tax burdens might be placed one either spouse as a result of gaining property.

A judge in a divorce case will encourage the couple to mediate the division of their property and assets. If they can settle it between themselves things will go a lot smoother and quicker which should be the goal in these types of case.

Child Custody in an Illinois Divorce
If children are involved in a divorce in Illinois, then the court will take into account what is considered best for their emotional and physical well being. This will mean asking both the parents and the children what their wishes are concerning sole or joint custody.

Quite often, the children's feelings are what sways a divorce court judge. With regard to child support amounts in Illinois the minimum for one child is 20% of the net income. For two children it is 28%, for three children it goes up to 32% and rises accordingly for each child.

See also:
Illinois Felony
Illinois Gun Laws
Illinois Bankruptcy
Illinois Misdemeanor External link (opens in new window)
Illinois Expungement External link (opens in new window)