Illinois is Now a Pure No Fault Divorce State
In 2016, Illinois became a pure no-fault state provided the parties lived separately for six months before the divorce.
I heard that Illinois is a “no fault” divorce state. What does this mean?
The technical answer is that “irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and the court determines that efforts at reconciliation have failed or that future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family.”
Are there any other grounds that can be alleged in Illinois to get a divorce?
What does it take to obtain a no fault, or irreconcilable differences, divorce?
Currently, law provides that if the parties live separate and apart for a continuous period of not less than six months immediately before the divorce, there is an “irrebuttable presumption that the requirement of irreconcilable differences has been met.”
So, what is an irrebuttable presumption?
Basically, that means that if one is living separately for at least six months continuously before the divorce, it is impossible to contest grounds. So long as the parties meet the required six-month separation, there is no need to provide proof of the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or that efforts of reconciliation failed.
Are grounds for legal separation different than grounds for divorce?
No. In 2016 the provision in the law that legal separation was only granted without fault on behalf of the petitioner was eliminated. See the Gitlin Law Firm’s Q&A regarding legal separation.