Illinois recognizes multiple grounds or reasons for people to file for divorce. As you might expect, a spouse who discovers that their partner has cheated or has another spouse can file for divorce. Additionally, if the couple wanted children and one spouse turns out to be unable to contribute to that process, that could be grounds for divorce.
Frequent alcohol abuse or drug use, physical or mental cruelty, felony convictions or abandonment, as well as one spouse giving the other a sexually transmitted disease, could all be grounds for divorce under current Illinois law.
However, the vast majority of couples that divorce in Illinois will go through no-fault divorce proceeding where the spouse has claimed that their marital relationship is beyond saving. Why do people choose no-fault divorces instead of filing based on issues in their marriage?
Proving fault complicates the divorce process
If you want to divorce your spouse for bigamy or cruelty, you will need actual evidence that your spouse engaged in those behaviors. The same is true for allegations about substance abuse or abandonment.
It can take a lot of effort and expense to gather evidence for a fault-based divorce and even more time and money to present that evidence to the courts. Even if you are successful, a judge won’t necessarily consider fault when splitting up custody or your property. All of that extra work does little except serve to assign blame for the divorce to one spouse.
With the exception of those and religious communities where divorce is still a major taboo, most couples will find that a no-fault filing is more cost-effective and faster than a contested or litigated end to your marriage. Learning more about the divorce process in Illinois can help you decide what is the right approach in your case.