Free Initial Consultations

With offices in Naperville, Joliet, Wheaton & Chicago
Livas Law Group

“No Fault” Divorce in Illinois

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneys, no fault divorce, divorce lawHistorically, in order to get a divorce, one of the parties would have to prove that there were “grounds” for the divorce. Accepted grounds included adultery, abandonment, and cruelty. In the 1970s states began to pass so called “no fault” divorce laws. No fault divorce laws allow couples to get divorced without one of them being blamed for bad behavior. At the beginning of this year, Illinois made changes to its divorce law to make it even easier for couples to take advantage of the no fault statute.

No Fault Divorce Law History

California was the first state to pass a no fault divorce law, which went into effect in 1970. No fault divorce gives couples a way to end their marriage more amicably, at least on paper. In some cases, when both parties wanted a divorce, one would allege a ground and the other party would falsely testify that it happened so that the divorce would be granted. The change toward no fault divorce was in part intended to reduce this perjury. State legislatures also saw community norms changing around divorce, which prompted them to make divorce easier and more of a choice of the couple rather than something to be proven in court.

No fault divorce laws use language like “irreconcilable differences.” Typically, there also needs to be a waiting period, where the couple lives separate and apart before the no fault divorce can be granted. In 2010, New York State was the last state in the United States to create a no fault divorce statute.

Illinois No Fault Divorce Law

Illinois law used to have grounds for divorce, such as “habitual drunkenness”, or “mental anguish.” To get a divorce under those grounds, and other recognized grounds, did not entail a waiting period. However, until recently for a no fault divorce due to “irreconcilable differences,” there was a waiting period of two years. During the two-year waiting period the couple must have lived separately, must have had separate lives, and must have no longer acted as a married couple for the divorce to be granted.

At the beginning of this year, however, Illinois overhauled many of its laws relating to marriage, custody, and divorce. Two of the changes are directly related to no fault divorce. The first change is that as of January 1, 2016, there are now no longer grounds for divorce at all, which means that all divorces become no fault divorces. The second major change is that now the general waiting period for a no fault divorce is six months, which is significantly shorter than the two-year waiting period that it was before. These changes show the trend towards no fault divorces and also the general trend of making divorces easier for couples to obtain.

DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

If you are thinking about a divorce, you should have a knowledgeable divorce attorney on your side to help you with the process. Our DuPage County divorce attorneys at Davi Family Law, LLC, can help to protect your rights and property. Call us today to schedule your consultation.


Back to Top