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.
Illinois Divorce is No-Fault Only
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....