Illinois Divorce Law

When you're going through a divorce, you probably have a million things going through your mind like living arrangements, child custody and finances. The emotional factor isn't helping your stress, either.

If this is your first divorce, you may be going through the process with a vague idea of the details you'll need to be aware of. If you go to court unprepared, you could end up losing more to your spouse that you're comfortable with. You may even underestimate how much you depended on your spouse and when the court orders them to pay maintenance, you could receive less support than you really need.

LawInfo's Illinois Divorce Law articles can help relieve some of the stress of the process. You'll learn about the state's divorce prerequisites, how property is divided and many other divorce topics. Whether you need assistance in Rockford, Joliet or Chicago, LawInfo can help connect you with an Illinois divorce attorney.

Illinois No-Fault Divorces

Illinois became a no-fault divorce state as of January 1, 2016. Prior to this change, a petitioning spouse would have needed to prove one of several "fault grounds" for a court to make a dissolution judgment. These fault grounds included adultery, domestic abuse, declining mental health and more.

From now on, the petitioning spouse only needs to prove that the marriage suffered a breakdown from irreconcilable differences. If the court can determine that future attempts at reconciliation are unfeasible and that both spouses have continuously lived apart for six or more months prior to the petition, it may find the evidence convincing enough for a dissolution judgment.

Illinois Divorce Residency Requirements

Like many states, Illinois has a residency requirement that must be fulfilled before a divorce can be finalized. At least one spouse must have been a resident or have had a military presence in Illinois for a minimum of 90 days prior to the petition's filing.

Illinois Spousal Maintenance

Regardless of marital misconduct, an Illinois court may order one spouse to pay spousal maintenance (sometimes called alimony) to the other. Maintenance is meant to support the spouse who stands to lose the most benefits they enjoyed in marriage, such as financial support for a disabled spouse who can't work.

The court must consider 14 statutory factors to decide whether maintenance is appropriate, among which are:

  • The income and property owned by each spouse, including awarded marital property and any financial implications the divorce would have on them (such as taxes or loss of insurance).
  • The standard of living the spouses enjoyed during the marriage.
  • How long the marriage lasted.
  • The age and health of each spouse.
  • Each spouse's sources of private and public income.

Illinois's spousal maintenance laws specify how long maintenance must be paid out and to what amount. The court may order a spouse to pay maintenance only if the combined gross income of both parties is less than $250,000 and the payee doesn't have multiple maintenance or family support obligations.

Speak to an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today

This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified divorce lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local divorce attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.

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