Overview of Divorce in Illinois

The following is an overview of divorce in Illinois. Dissolution of marriage in Illinois may be filed as either fault or no-fault, with property divided according to the “equitable distribution” principle, and spouse and child support determined according to the percentage of income.

Residency and Filing Requirements

At least one of the spouses must reside in Illinois or be stationed in the state as a member of the armed services for 90 days prior to filing.

Grounds for Filing

The petitioner may file for either a Fault or No-Fault dissolution of marriage.

The grounds for a No-Fault dissolution stipulate that the spouses have lived for a continuous period in excess of 2 years and irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. If the spouses have lived apart for at least 6 months preceding the judgment dissolving the marriage, the requirement of living apart for at least 2 years may be waived if both spouses do so in writing.

Faulted dissolution of marriage may be awarded on a number of grounds, including impotence, bigamy, willful desertion or abandonment for at least a year, habitual drunkenness, drug abuse, mental cruelty, conviction of a felony or other infamous crime, or the respondent has infected the petitioner with a sexually transmitted disease.

Property Distribution

Illinois is an "equitable distribution" state, so marital property is divided fairly but not necessarily equally. If both parties cannot settle property and debt issues unanimously, the court will distribute the property without regard to marital misconduct taking into account the contribution of each party to its acquisition, dissipation by each party of the marital or non-marital property, value of the property assigned to each spouse, duration of the marriage, relevant economic circumstances of each spouse, any obligations and rights arising from a prior marriage of either party, age, health, station, occupation, income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each of the parties, child custody provisions, among other factors.

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Spousal Support

Not all cases result in either permanent or temporary support from one spouse to the other. This is decided on a case-by-case basis either through agreement by the parties or at the court's discretion. Factors influencing the award of maintenance include the income and property of each party, needs of each party, present and future earning capacity of each party, the standard of living established during the marriage, duration of the marriage, the age and the physical and emotional condition of both parties and other factors at the discretion of the court.

Restoration or Name Change

By request, a wife whose marriage is dissolved may have her maiden name or a former name restored.

Counseling or Mediation Requirements

If there is a prospect of reconciliation, the court may order a conciliation conference.

Child Custody and Support

If the parents cannot agree on issues involving children, the court will establish custody at its discretion.

Child support is calculated as a percentage of the income of the non-custodial parent.

If you have any questions regarding divorce click here to contact a divorce attorney near you right now.