Ryan Family Law, P.C.
Ryan Family Law, P.C.

Elgin, Illinois

Call Today!

Our Hours:
Friday 9AM–12PM
Monday 9AM–5PM
Tuesday 9AM–5PM
Wednesday 9AM–5PM
Thursday 9AM–5PM

Does infidelity have any impact on an Illinois divorce?

Some couples decide to divorce because the spouses have slowly grown apart over many years. Other times, one spouse does something that damages the relationship. Adultery has always been one of the more common reasons that people file for divorce.

Those who discover a spouse has been unfaithful may not feel safe in the relationship anymore. Extramarital affairs indicate a willingness to lie and also potentially expose people to dangerous pathogens. Someone hoping to divorce an unfaithful spouse in Illinois might expect the courts to grant them justice and a sense of vindication for the wrongs they have experienced. However, adultery actually has very little impact on Illinois divorce proceedings.

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state

The divorce statute in Illinois only allows spouses to file for no-fault divorces. A divorce based on specific grounds has not been an option for years at this point. One spouse can claim that the marriage has experienced an irretrievable breakdown and ask the courts to end the marriage.

However, they cannot demand that the courts declare their spouse at fault for the divorce. The no-fault approach to divorce also means that people may not receive the type of justice they hope for in an Illinois divorce. The courts don’t consider marital misconduct when trying to equitably divide marital property. Cheating does not typically have any impact on the division of parental rights and responsibilities either.

Occasionally, one spouse can at least demand compensation based on the marital resources someone wasted while conducting their affair. If one spouse has proof that the other used marital income or accrued debt while paying for hotel rooms or buying gifts for an affair partner, those actions could affect property division proceedings.

Judges may exclude debts related to adultery from the marital estate and may factor in wasteful spending of marital income when deciding how to fairly divide other resources. Spouses already hurt by the infidelity of the person they trusted the most may end up feeling even more frustrated and betrayed if they approach the divorce process with unrealistic expectations.

Understanding the minimal impact that infidelity has on Illinois divorce proceedings may help people set realistic expectations as they move on from an unhealthy marriage.

RSS Feed

FindLaw Network