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Am I Eligible to Get Divorced?

Am I Eligible to Get Divorce?

By: M. Scott Gordon

If you are having problems in your marriage and have been considering divorce in Chicago, it is important to learn more about whether you are eligible to get divorced. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/), there are requirements you must meet in order to get divorced. Once you have determined you are eligible for a divorce in Illinois, you will need to determine whether you are eligible for an uncontested divorce or a joint simplified divorce, or whether you will need to go through the longer process of a contested divorce.

Timing and Eligibility for Divorce Under Illinois Law

In order to be eligible for a divorce, Illinois law has a residency requirement. At least one of the spouses must have lived in the state of Illinois for at least 90 days prior to filing the petition for divorce. You can also meet the residency requirement if one of the spouses is a member of the armed forces and has been stationed in Illinois for at least 90 days prior to one of the parties filing a petition for divorce.

“No Fault” Divorce Requirement

Once you have met the residency requirement, you will need to prove irreconcilable differences have caused marriage to break down and the court must find efforts towards reconciliation have failed or that future efforts towards reconciliation would be unlikely. This is what is necessary to have a “no fault” divorce in Illinois and it is now the only option for getting divorced in Illinois. While the IMDMA used to recognize fault-based divorces, now couples must be eligible for a “no fault” divorce.

How do you prove irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage? In short, if you and your spouse have lived apart for at least six months continuously, then there is an irrebuttable presumption the requirement of irreconcilable differences has been met. In most situations, the court will require the parties have been living in different residences in order to show they have been living separately. However, there are some situations in which married couples decide to separate but remain in the same physical residence for financial or other reasons. If this is your situation, it is important to speak with a Chicago divorce lawyer about your options for a divorce under Illinois law and the “no fault” requirements.

Discuss Your Case with a Chicago Divorce Attorney

Once you know you are eligible for a divorce under Illinois law, it is essential to speak with a Chicago divorce lawyer about your options for moving forward with your divorce. Depending upon your specific circumstances, you may be eligible for a joint simplified divorce or an uncontested divorce. An advocate at our firm can discuss your options with you today. Contact M. Scott Gordon & Associates to learn more about the services we provide to individuals and families in Chicago.