Can I File a Fault-Based Divorce in Illinois?

If you are facing a divorce in Illinois, one of the questions you may have is “can I file a fault-based divorce?” To learn more about fault-based divorce and the laws put into place in Illinois, continue reading and reach out to our experienced Morton divorce lawyer. To learn more about our services and how we can assist you with your divorce, no matter the circumstances, give our legal team a call today to schedule your initial consultation.

Can I file a fault-based divorce in Illinois?

Illinois has held on to the traditional fault grounds for a divorce in the past including cruelty, impotence, and adultery. However, in 2016, Illinois passed a law that eliminated the option to file a fault divorce. Now, spouses are limited to filing a no-fault divorce. This is true even if a spouse committed spousal misconduct or caused the breakdown of the marriage. In Illinois, the court will not let fault play a part in the proceedings of the divorce.

Does fault matter in an Illinois divorce?

Prior to 2016, the fault grounds for divorce in Illinois included the following:

  • Impotence
  • Alcohol abuse or drug addiction for 2 years
  • Bigamy
  • Extreme and repeated physical or mental cruelty
  • Extreme and repeated physical or mental cruelty
  • Adultery
  • A felony conviction
  • Abandonment for a period of at least one year
  • Attempting to take the other spouse’s life
  • Infecting the other spouse with a sexually transmitted disease

Today, spouses can no longer cite any of the above fault grounds. However, fault can play a role in decisions made by the court when considering visitation and child custody matters. Judges may evaluate if one spouse dissipated marital assets during the marriage. However, the law prohibits judges from analyzing fault when determining matters of the division of property in a divorce.

If one spouse spends marital funds on a gambling addiction or if one spouse spends marital funds on an affair with a boyfriend or girlfriend, the other spouse may be awarded more of the marital estate by the court to make up for the loss of marital assets. This spouse must follow steps to claim the other spouse dissipated marital assets.

If you have any further questions about this process, do not hesitate to contact our Morton divorce lawyer who can walk you through each step of the process ahead. We are here to help.

Contact Our Experienced Illinois Firm

At Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C., our divorce lawyer will help you navigate the challenges of any divorce or family law matter you may be facing. We provide effective and compassionate legal counsel for the following legal matters: divorce, alimony, division of marital assets, child custody, and child support. Contact us today.

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