All Divorces Are Now No-Fault Divorces in Illinois

Before 2016, divorces in Illinois could be either “no-fault” or “fault-based”. Each type of divorce had its own set of implications, and there were a great variety of reasons that couples cited for each. Let’s take a look at the difference.

Fault-Based Divorce

In a fault-based divorce, individuals were able to levy the reason for the failure of their marriage against a specific person or situation. One spouse could blame the failure on the other, for example, and this would affect the length of the divorce process as well as the cost of the ordeal. There were a number of different possible grounds for a fault-based divorce, including:

  • Bigamy
  • Adultery
  • Abuse
  • Abandonment

As of January 1st, 2016, however, it is no longer possible for individuals in Illinois to pursue a fault-based divorce. Couple seeking divorce today will file for a no-fault divorce.

No-Fault Divorce

A no-fault divorce differs from a fault-based divorce in that, as you might have gathered, the fault for the dissolution of a marriage cannot fall entirely upon one person. This means that couples filing for no-fault divorce do so thanks to “irreconcilable differences” that make the marriage unable to be salvaged. The couple is unable to move past these differences and remain married, and the only viable option left is a divorce.

What does this mean for you?

No-fault divorces might remove the legal blame for a divorce, however they do not remove the reasons behind the divorce. This means that it’s still important to speak with a divorce attorney who understands how to best move the process along and ensure that everything stays as favorable and amicable as possible.

The change to no-fault divorces has also considerably shortened the amount of time that it may take to obtain a divorce in Illinois. Before the chance, no-fault divorces took place over many months. The individuals in question had to live apart from each other for at least six months in order to proceed with the divorce, and if one of the parties contested the no-fault status, then that time period rose to two years.

Couples no longer have to wait this long period of time between filing and being granted a divorce. This makes the process easier and less costly as a result.

Speak with a Divorce Attorney to Discuss Your Options

All of this is not to say that there’s no need to speak with a divorce attorney. If you’ve found yourself in the position of filing for a divorce, you should absolutely speak with an attorney to ensure that your rights are recognized and protected. This is especially true in the case of a contested divorce.

An Illinois divorce attorney can help you settle this chapter of your life so that you can move on as quickly, healthy, and happily as possible.