Illinois Divorce Laws

Illinois divorce residency requirements

The Circuit Court must have jurisdiction over your case when you wish to apply for dissolution of marriage in Illinois. Your divorce may be granted providing that you have been a resident of Illinois for a period of no less than 90 when applying for dissolution of marriage.

Grounds for divorce when residing in Illinois

When applying for dissolution of marriage in Illinois there are certain grounds and these are no-fault based grounds and fault-based grounds.

No-fault based grounds

  1. Living apart and separate from each other for a period of at least two years
  2. Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage with no chance of reconciliation

Fault-based grounds

  1. One of the spouses was previously married and never divorced
  2. Impotence
  3. Adultery
  4. Wilful desertion for a period of 1 year or more
  5. Two years or more of habitual drunkenness
  6. Two years or more of drug addiction
  7. Extreme and repeated cruelty
  8. Imprisonment or felony conviction
  9. Infected with a sexually transmitted disease


Property division when divorcing in Illinois

If possible, any property division is down to the parties to work out. However if this is impossible then the Circuit Court will divide the property. As an equitable state when the courts are dividing property, they will first decide which property is considered marital. This property is then given a monetary value and will be divided fairly between the spouses. They will consider the following when doing so:

  1. The contribution of each of the spouses
  2. The dissipation of each spouse when it comes to marital or on marital property
  3. The value of each property assigned to the spouses
  4. How long the marriage lasted
  5. The economic circumstances of each of the spouses
  6. Obligations that arise from a previous marriage
  7. Any anti-nuptial agreement of the spouses
  8. The health, occupation, sources of income and employability of each of the spouses
  9. Custodial provisions for any children
  10. The opportunity for each spouse to further acquire capitol assets or income
  11. Tax consequences of the property division 750 Illinois Compiled Statutes – Chapter 5 – Sections: 503


Child custody factors in Illinois

The Court will take the needs of the child into account and will consider the following when deciding child custody factors:

  • The wishes of the parents as to custody of the child
  • The wishes of the child themselves
  • The interaction of the child to parents, siblings and any other relevant person residing in the property
  • How well the child has adjusted to home, school and the community
  • The physical and mental aspects of the child
  • Any history of violence
  • Any ongoing or repeated abuse within the family
  • The willingness of each of the parents to ensure the child has a relationship with the other parent 750 Illinois Compiled Statutes – Chapter 5 – Sections: 602, 603 and 610

Child support factors

Either of the parents may have to pay towards child support costs. If the official guideline, which the court rules by, is not appropriate then the following will be taken into account:

  • The needs and financial resources of the child
  • The standard of living which the child might have enjoyed had the divorce not taken place
  • The emotional, physical and educational needs of the child
  • The financial resources and needs of both the parents
  • Health insurance premiums may also be taken into account by the court

If child support is not met by the spouse or spouses then the spouse or spouses driving license may be revoked [625 Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated; Chapter 5, Sections 7-703 and 750 Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated; Chapter 5, Sections 505, 505.2, and 507