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Once a couple decides to get divorced, they have to resolve several issues, including spousal maintenance, marital property division, child support, and parenting arrangements. But the process of negotiating these issues is not easy, and a couple may wonder if they really want to complete the divorce process. Although most spouses may already know the marriage has permanently broken down when they file for divorce, others may wonder if they can continue down the path towards divorce if there is any chance of reconciliation.
While couples used to need certain justifications to get divorced, in 2016 Illinois transitioned exclusively to no-fault divorces. This means spouses do not have to prove either partner is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage - they only have to say that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and that there is no hope for reconciliation. No-fault divorce laws eliminate many of the more complex elements of proving fault and make it easier for someone to get a divorce even if their spouse does not agree.
However, although Illinois no longer requires listing fault in a divorce, it still has certain requirements that must be met before a divorce can be finalized. One requirement, unless both spouses consent to give it up, is that a couple must live “separate and apart” for six months, proving that there is no chance of reconciliation. If a court determines that there is some possibility of reconciliation, a couple may be required to attend a conciliation conference.
A spouse or an Illinois divorce court can request a conciliation conference if it believes a couple has a chance of reconciling their issues rather than getting divorced. During a court-ordered conciliation conference, spouses must try to resolve their differences to prevent divorce - even if one spouse still believes there is no chance of saving the marriage and does not want to attend the conference.
Courts may also order spouses to take classes exploring divorce’s harmful effects on minor children. If classes or a conciliation conference are unsuccessful, a divorce may proceed. If you want to get divorced and have been ordered to attend a conciliation conference, a skilled Illinois divorce attorney may be able to help.
At Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, we have helped many couples work through their divorce in a nonjudgmental and helpful environment. Whatever your unique circumstances, one of our experienced Hinsdale, IL divorce attorneys can help you create a plan and follow through. Call us today to schedule a free case review at 630-920-8855.