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After making the difficult decision to divorce, most people would like the entire process to be over with as soon as possible. Unfortunately, divorce is not an automatic process and in Illinois, there are two different waiting periods couples must be aware of. Individuals that wish to file for divorce must have lived in the state for a certain period of time, and then comply with the mandatory waiting period.
The legal statute governing divorce in Illinois states that the couple must live in the state for 90 days prior to filing. In many cases, this is not an issue but there are instances in which this waiting period may present an issue. For example, if the couple has physically separated and one spouse has been living in Texas for some time, they may want to file in that state instead, particularly if laws on the terms of divorce, such as property division laws, would favor them in a different state. In this situation, it is crucial to speak to a lawyer that can help you determine where the case should be heard.
Historically in Illinois, the couple had to separate for two years before a divorce, if a spouse filed under the no-fault divorce laws at the time. If the filing spouse had alleged fault on the part of their spouse, such as mental cruelty, that waiting period could be reduced to six months. Illinois has not operated under these laws for a long time.
Today, Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, which means that a person cannot allege wrongdoing in their petition for divorce. Prior to filing, the couple must separate for six months, which is the official waiting period for divorce. It is important that couples understand that they do not need to physically separate during the six months that they are apart. However, they must establish that they have irreconcilable differences and that there is little chance of reconciliation.
It is also important that couples know that they can try to reconcile during the waiting period if they feel there is a chance their marriage may work. Any attempts at reconciliation will not work against the waiting period. So, if a couple attempts to reconcile but it does not work, there is no requirement that states the six-month waiting period must start again.
Making the decision to divorce is difficult, but the actual process is also quite complex, with many laws governing divorce in Illinois. At the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, our dedicated Hinsdale family lawyers fully understand the laws on divorce and will advise on how they apply to your case. We will also always fight to protect your best interests, and help you secure the fair settlement you deserve. If you are getting a divorce, call us at 630-920-8855 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.