This won’t negate the valid reasons that bring couples to divorce planning, only the way in which a divorce attorney can present them in court.
CURRENT ILLINOIS DIVORCE GROUNDS
At this point in time, lawyers commonly plead just two grounds for divorce: irreconcilable differences and mental cruelty. In my 12 years as a DuPage County divorce lawyer, I have rarely pled anything other than these two grounds in a divorce case.
However, current Illinois grounds for divorce also include:
Desertion for more than one year
Habitual drunkenness for two years
Excessive use of addictive drugs for more than two years
Attempt to take the life of the spouse in a manner that shows malice
Extreme and repeated physical or mental cruelty
Infecting the partner with a sexually transmitted disease
NEW GROUNDS AS OF 2016
On January 1, 2016, Illinois will have only one ground for divorce: irreconcilable differences. The Court specifically defines this as follows:
Such differences have caused an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage.
Past attempts to resolve the differences have failed.
Future attempts at resolution would not be in the best interests of the individual and the family.
In addition, the new 2016 laws will eliminate the statutory two-year waiting requirement to file for divorce.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN COURT
When viewed in legal context, the list of grounds for divorce in the previous (prior to 2016) divorce act can be understood as irreconcilable differences between two parties. It’s also understood that couples will continue to divorce for any of those legitimate reasons.
The key difference is that regardless of the specific cause(s) the divorce will be pled and introduced in court as simply an irreconcilable difference.
ABOUT ERIN BIRT
Illinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over ten years of experience in trial and divorce law serving clients in many DuPage County cities including Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville and Winfield.
She opened the Law Firm of Erin Birt, P.C. in 2010 to offer her clients alternative divorce resolution services, specialized collaborative divorce options and family law expertise. She and her expert team continually develop creative outcomes such as divorce mediation and family law mediation that work for all parties involved, particularly children.
Ms. Birt holds a J.D. from DePaul College of Law and is a member of the Collaborative Practice Professionals of Illinois, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the DuPage County Bar Association. She is a past board member and presenter for the Mediation Council of Illinois.