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Can I Get Divorced and Continue to Live with My Ex-Spouse?

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorney for irreconcilable differencesDivorce looks different for every couple. Some divorced couples end their marriage and never speak to each other again. Other couples remain on good terms and even take family vacations together after their split. Some may even continue to live together after getting divorced. If you are in a situation where it may make sense to continue living with your soon-to-be-ex, you may wonder, “Can I get divorced in Illinois if we are still living together?”

Understanding Illinois’ Rules Regarding Living Separately and Apart

One of the many changes to Illinois divorce law that took place in 2016 was a revision of the grounds for divorce. In the past, divorcing spouses could assert fault-based grounds such as adultery or the no-fault ground of “irreconcilable differences.” If the spouse alleged a fault-based ground, the mandatory separation period was six months. If the couple alleged irreconcilable differences, the mandatory separation period was two years.

Presently, there are no fault-based grounds for divorce in Illinois. The only grounds available is irreconcilable differences. There is also no mandatory separation period. You do not have to live apart for any length of time before you qualify for divorce. However, if a spouse contests the claim of irreconcilable differences, living apart for six months may be used as proof that irreconcilable differences have been established.

Spouses do not have to live in different homes to be considered living “separate and apart” for the purpose of establishing irreconcilable differences. Not living as a typical married couple and sleeping in separate rooms is usually considered living separately and apart.  

Personal Implications of Living Together After Divorce  

The law is clear that a couple may still get divorced even if they live under the same roof. However, living with your ex after getting divorced may be quite difficult. You may find it hard to move on after the end of the relationship without physically moving to a new home. You may run into arguments regarding financial concerns or shared resources such as the laundry room or kitchen. You may also experience awkwardness and tension when one of you gets a new boyfriend or girlfriend. That being said, a spouse may simply not be in a position to move out after divorce. If this describes you, make sure to establish clear boundaries regarding financial and personal concerns to reduce the chances of contention.  

Contact an Illinois Divorce Lawyer

If you are ready to get divorced, the knowledgeable Wheaton divorce attorneys at The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. can help. Call us at 630-462-9500 for a confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/rediscovering-love/202104/divorced-still-living-together

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/what-qualifies-living-separate-and-apart-chicago-divorce

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