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Illinois Divorce Facts

When going through a divorce in in Illinois, it's helpful to have some key information. Below you will find some of the most important facts everyone getting a divorce in the state of Illinois should know. The facts listed here are only a selected few of the more comprehensive set of Illinois Divorce Laws available for your reference. Remember, every state's law is different, and if you're not sure about a law in your state, you should ask a qualified Illinois Divorce Professional.

  • One spouse must live in Illinois for 90 days, and the case must be filed in the county where either spouse lives.
  • For a no-fault divorce, the spouses must live separately for at least two years and state that irreconcilable differences ended their marriage.
  • Grounds for a fault divorce are impotence, bigamy, adultery, desertion for one year, habitual drunkenness or drug addiction for at least two years, repeated and extreme physical or mental cruelty, felony conviction or imprisonment, and infection with a sexually transmitted disease.
  • When the parties cannot reach a settlement, the judge divides all property and debts. The property settlement must be in writing and signed by both parties.
  • In dividing property the court considers all relevant factors including the contribution of each party to the value of the property, particularly the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker, the value of the property distributed to each spouse, the length of the marriage, the financial situation of each spouse when the property is divided, (such as the need to give the family home to the spouse who has custody of the children), any obligations and rights arising from a prior marriage of either party, the age, health, station, occupation, income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each of the parties, the custody of any children, and the reasonable opportunity of each spouse for future acquisition of capital assets and income.
  • Alimony is awarded without regard to misconduct. According to Illinois divorce law, the judge orders support from one spouse to the other if the parties cannot agree. The court awards alimony in a lump sum or for a fixed or indefinite period of time. The alimony may be paid from the income or property of the other spouse after considering all relevant factors, including the income and assets of each spouse, the needs of each party, the earning capacity of each party, any impairment of the earning capacity of the party seeking alimony caused by marital sacrifices, the time necessary for the receiving party to seek employment, the standard of living established while married, the length of the marriage, the age and health of both parties, and the contributions and services by the party seeking maintenance to the education or career potential of the other spouse.
  • In deciding custody, the court does not consider the gender of the custodial parent. The court considers all relevant factors including the wishes of the child's parents, the wishes of the child, the relationship of the child with the parents, siblings, and any other person who significantly affects the child's best interest, the child's adjustment to home, school, and community, the mental and physical health of everyone, any physical violence by the child's potential custodian, whether directed at the child or at another person, episodes of repeated abuse whether directed at the child or directed at another person, and the willingness and ability of each parent to encourage a close relationship between the other parent and the child.
  • Either or both parents may be ordered to pay reasonable and necessary child support, without regard to marital fault or misconduct. If the official guidelines are not appropriate, the court considers the financial resources and needs of the child, the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage had endured, the physical, emotional, and educational needs of the child, and the financial resources, needs, and obligations of both the non-custodial and the custodial parent.
  • Support payments may be ordered paid directly to the court.
  • Illinois driver's licenses also may be revoked if the court-ordered child support payments are not made.

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