Is there a waiting period to get a divorce under Illinois law?

Posted on in Divorce

No, you are not required to undergo any type of waiting period in order to get divorced under Illinois law. In many states, you must be separated from your spouse for a certain amount of time or you must wait several months after the filing of your divorce petition before your divorce can be granted by the court and become final. While there are some circumstances under Illinois law in which you can undergo a waiting period for your divorce, such as when you are seeking a no-fault divorce, you are never required to have a waiting period before you can get divorced.

In order to avoid any kind of waiting period in an Illinois divorce, the Illinois Marriage Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/) states thatyou must use one of the fault-based grounds for divorce under Illinois law. These grounds, or reasons for the divorce, include the following:

  • Impotence of the other spouse
  • Bigamy
  • Adultery subsequent to the marriage
  • Desertion or absence by one spouse for at least one year
  • Habitual drunkenness for two years
  • Excessive use of drugs for two years
  • An attempt made to kill the other spouse
  • Extreme and repeated physical or mental cruelty
  • Conviction of a felony or another infamous crime
  • Infection of the other spouse with a sexually transmitted disease

Some of these fault-based grounds are more difficult to prove than others. For spouses who readily agree that they should be divorced, choosing a fault-based ground on which they can agree is often the easiest and quickest way to obtain a divorce under Illinois law. Even for spouses who don’t agree that they should be divorced, it is relatively easy for one spouse to prove some of these fault-based grounds. For instance, a felony conviction is public record, and one spouse can easily prove that the other spouse was convicted of a felony during their marriage. Bigamy also can be fairly easy to prove through marriage records, and grounds involving impotence and sexually transmitted diseases can be proven through medical records.

If you are contemplating divorce or are in need of advice regarding your marital situation, you should immediately contact an experienced Geneva, Illinois divorce lawyer for advice, so that you can fully explore all options available to you under Illinois law.

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