FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION630-868-3093

Understanding Grounds for Divorce in Illinois

Despite evolving social standards encouraging people to be happy at almost any cost, millions of Americans continue to live in unhappy relationships. The reasons may vary from couple to couple, but frequently can be traced to guilt over health situations, financial concerns, or staying together for the sake of young children. Fear is also a common issue, as many individuals are afraid of the divorce process, its effects, and the unknown realities of a post-divorce life.

You may find yourself in a similar situation and looking for answers. While it may not always be the best solution, there are times when divorce may provide not only short-term relief for you, but also a healthier future for you and your family.

The first step when considering divorce should be enlisting the help of a qualified divorce attorney. An attorney can help you understand your options and prepare you for the road ahead. Once you have decided to begin the process, you may file a petition for divorce in the appropriate jurisdiction for your case. Your petition will need to include the grounds on which you are requesting the dissolution of your marriage.

Grounds for Divorce

Illinois law permits the court to grant your decree of divorce for a number of specific reasons, including:

  • Abandonment: Willful desertion by your spouse for longer than a year;
  • Adultery: Your spouse cheated on you or was unfaithful after you got married;
  • Physical or Mental Abuse: Defined in the law as “cruelty,” repeated extreme actions or treatment that threaten your mental and physical well-being;
  • Substance Abuse: Excessive use of drugs or alcohol lasting two years or longer;
  • Felony Conviction: Your spouse was convicted a serious or “infamous” crime; and
  • Bigamy: At the time of your marriage, your spouse was legally still married to another.

The statute governing divorce proceedings also will grant consideration to divorce petitions on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. There are additional criteria that will need to be met for divorce to be granted on such grounds, including a potential two year separation period, and justification that the marriage has deteriorated beyond repair. The two year period may be shortened to six months, if you and your spouse can agree in writing.

If you live in Illinois and would like more information about how to proceed with your divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney in DuPage County today. Our team will help you every step of the way, and together we will create a more promising future for you and your family.