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Wheaton lawyer for filing for divorceCOVID-19 has deeply affected millions of Americans. Many have faced job loss or reduced work hours because of shutdowns. Others have had to quit their jobs to be at home with their children during remote learning. If you are in a difficult financial position and want to file for divorce, you may have concerns about how your financial hardship may affect your situation. You may have heard that there was a mandatory separation period before a couple could get divorced but are unsure of what exactly is required. If you and your ex cannot afford to live in separate homes, can you still be granted a divorce?

Changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act Address the Separation Period

Major changes to the laws that govern marriage and divorce in Illinois were enacted in 2016. Among the many changes was a modernization of the “grounds” or reasons that a spouse may request a divorce. Before the changes, spouses could claim fault-based grounds for divorce, such as impotence, infidelity, abuse, or drug addiction. Following the change, all of the fault-based grounds have been abolished.

There is now only one no-fault ground available for divorce in Illinois: irreconcilable differences. If you wish to file for divorce under no-fault grounds, you must state that:

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Wheaton divorce attorney for infidelity and asset dissipationCheating and affairs in a marriage often lead to divorce. In some cases, spouses file for divorce immediately after the affair comes to light. In other cases, a couple may try to salvage their marriage after an affair, but they may ultimately decide that too much damage to the relationship has occurred. If you have found yourself in this situation, you may be unsure of what to do. Whether the unfaithful partner was you or your spouse, you probably have questions about how marital infidelity can influence an Illinois divorce. Regardless of the exact circumstances, infidelity can lead to additional contention and confusion in a divorce. An experienced divorce lawyer can help.  

Grounds for Divorce

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state. The state’s laws previously included fault-based “grounds” or reasons for divorce, such as abandonment, cruelty, and infidelity. However, Illinois has since eliminated these grounds. Now, the only grounds available when filing for divorce is “irreconcilable differences.” Infidelity or other reasons for ending their marriage will not be included in a spouse’s petition for divorce.

Financial Implications of an Affair

Although there are no longer fault-based grounds for divorce in Illinois, a spouse’s infidelity can still impact the divorce. If a spouse used marital funds or property to finance their affair, the other spouse may file a “dissipation of assets” claim against him or her. According to Illinois case law, dissipation occurs when a spouse uses marital property on a purpose not related to the marriage while the marriage is undergoing an irreversible breakdown. Funds spent on gifts or vacations with an affair partner may be considered dissipated assets. During the divorce process, the spouse who dissipated the assets may be required to reimburse the marital estate for the value of those assets.

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DuPage County divorce lawyer irreconcilable differences

If you are considering divorce, you may have heard about the different “grounds” or reasons that a person can give when seeking to dissolve their marriage. Traditionally, these grounds have included an identification of which spouse was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Of course, marriages end for a wide variety of reasons, and identifying a specific cause for the failure of the relationship is not always easy. Sometimes, a couple simply grows apart or stops being in love with each other. Updates to Illinois law have now taken this reality into consideration with regard to the grounds for divorce.

Previous Illinois Grounds for Divorce

Before major changes were made to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), anyone wishing to get divorced in Illinois would need to identify grounds for their divorce. These grounds included several “fault” grounds which included but were not limited to:

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On January 1, 2016, sweeping changes to the way family law works in Illinois will take effect. The changes will affect everyone who has a divorce or child custody case in the state. Because same-sex marriage is relatively new in Illinois, many wonder if the changes to the family law statutes will have any impact on same-sex marriages in the state.

Status of Same-Sex Marriage in Illinois

who has a divorce or child custody case in the state. Because same-sex marriage is relatively new in Illinois, many wonder if the changes to the family law statutes will have any impact on same-sex marriages in the state.

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Posted on in Divorce
What Is Legal Separation?

Illinois legal separation lawyers, divorce attorneysEnding a marriage can be a difficult and overwhelming decision. People may be thinking about divorce as an option, but may be unsure, have personal or financial concerns, or may not be ready to file for divorce. Those who are not ready to file for divorce, but who are seeking to take some steps towards separating from their spouse, may be interested in a legal separation.

Legal Separation or Divorce?

In a divorce, the marriage is legally over. Both parties are free to marry other people. In a legal separation, however, the parties are still married. In both cases, courts can make determinations about child custody and visitation, child support, and spousal maintenance. However, courts generally only divide property in divorce.

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