It may come as a startling realization to many couples, but it is an unfortunate reality that many relationships, even marriages, can deteriorate to unhealthy levels. A marriage with scant communication and no cooperation often has little chance of being salvaged. Couples may even find they are no longer interested in saving the marriage, instead looking toward a more positive, post-divorce life. For couples who have not been forced to experience some of the more traditional and traumatic grounds for divorce, such as infidelity or abuse, a divorce on the grounds irreconcilable differences, also known as a “no-fault divorce,” may prove to be a viable option.
Under Illinois law, the court may grant a divorce without assigning fault on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. Such a divorce is not necessarily contingent on the agreement of both parties, but on the demonstration that the marriage is beyond repair. The court is required to verify that:
- The spouses have lived separately for at least two years;
- Irreconcilable differences have led to the marriage’s “irretrievable breakdown;” and
- Reconciliation efforts have failed or such future efforts would be futile and not in the family’s best interest.
By the written consent of both parties, the two year requirement can be waived, but the court must enforce a minimum separation period of at least 6 months prior to granting the divorce.
Necessary Divorce Considerations
The absence of specific divorce grounds does not affect any of the other factors to be considered during the divorce process. A no-fault divorce must still address considerations including:
- Division of marital property, assets, and debt;
- Child custody and visitation arrangements;
- Child support requirements; and
- Spousal maintenance requirements.
A divorce judgment cannot be entered until the court is satisfied that appropriate provisions have been made for all necessary concerns.
If you are living unhappily in a marriage that you know to be unhealthy, suffering through it is not your only option. Contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney today to discuss possible solutions for your situation, including a no-fault divorce. We understand how difficult divorce can be and our compassionate team is prepared to work by your side throughout every step of the process.