Contemplating an Illinois Divorce? Understanding the Preliminary Requirements of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act

If you reside in Illinois and are contemplating divorce, there is a set of cited criteria under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) you should familiarize yourself with before scheduling an initial consultation with an experienced Illinois family law attorney.

Residency Status

In order to file for a divorce in Illinois, one must first meet the residency requirements before the court will accept the case. Based on residency status, if the court determines it does not retain jurisdictional rights to proceed over the case, it will not be accepted and could result in a dismissal.

To ensure your residency is established, the following criteria applies:

  • One spouse was a resident of Illinois 90 days before the petition was filed;
  • If either spouse is active in the armed forces, the 90 day residency restriction also applies; or
  • Proceedings are to be conducted in the county where either the plaintiff or defendant resides.

Establishing Grounds

As with many other states, Illinois is currently a no-fault divorce state, but the petition should establish the grounds on which the petitioner is seeking a dissolution of marriage.

No Fault Criteria

  • The petition shall declare the grounds for divorce set by the Illinois judicial system;
  • Both the plaintiff and defendant must agree and substantiate the established grounds;
  • Separation must be continuous and in excess of two years; or
  • The court will determine whether reconciliation efforts have failed and determined irretrievable.

At Fault Criteria

  • One spouse establishes the other to be naturally impotent;
  • An additional marriage while married to current spouse has been exposed;
  • An act of willful desertion or abandonment is evident;
  • Established pattern of substance abuse or domestic violence;
  • Respondent has been convicted of a felony; or
  • Documented transmission of a sexually transmitted disease or STD.

Although familiarizing yourself with the preliminary requirements under Illinois divorce law is advisable, there is up to 20 additional documents required for inclusion with the petition.

To discuss your unique situation and to learn more about a Verification Statement, Waiver of Two Year Statutory Period of Separation, Financial Disclosure Statement and Entry of Appearance, Waiver and Consent, contact the skilled Hinsdale family law attorneys of the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio for your free preliminary consultation today.

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