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Basic requirements to a start divorce in Illinois


Divorce is relatively common in Illinois as the divorce rate seems to be climbing higher and higher each year. Before each divorce is finalized many people may know they will need to divide their assets and debts, deal with child custody and child support and possibly have to determine if there will be spousal maintenance. However, before any of that can begin, the couple must file for divorce in the Illinois courts. There are certain requirements that must be met before a person can file though.

First, at least one of the spouses must be a resident of Illinois for at least 90 days prior to filing for divorce. Then, there also must be a basis for the divorce. This can be a number of things, including but not limited to, one spouse is naturally impotent, one spouse committed adultery, a spouse had a another living spouse at the time of the marriage, a spouse has had a habitual drinking problem or has been addicted to drugs for a period of two years, a spouse has abandoned the other one for a period of one year, a spouse is guilty of extreme and repeated mental or physical cruelty, a spouse has been convicted of a felony and others.

Even if a spouse cannot show one of those circumstances exists they can still get a divorce if there has been an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage. To claim this, the couple must live apart for a period of two years. However, the couple can waive the two year requirement through stipulation if the couple has been living apart for at least six months prior to judgment being entered in the divorce. The time apart can include any time the couple has spent in marriage counseling trying to reconcile the marriage.

So, a couple in Illinois attempting to get divorced will need to ensure that these requirements have been met. Divorce can be a complicated process though after the requirements have been met. Attorneys may be helpful in ensuring that a couple's divorce is done properly.

Source: Illinois General Assembly, "750 ILCS 5/401," accessed on Sept. 30, 2014

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