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Do I Need to Prove Fault in an Illinois Divorce?

Filing for a divorce can not only evoke many negative emotions, but individuals may find it difficult to understand the legal proceedings in their respective states. In addition, they may find themselves with concerns about legal terms in question, such as deciding who is at fault in the divorce. If you are seeking a divorce in Illinois and worried about proving who’s at fault, a Chicago divorce attorney at Ward Family Law, LLC is here to assist you. We will ensure that you are confident in your understanding of Illinois proceedings and will help you every step of the way. 

What is Meant by “At Fault” in a Divorce?

Depending on the state in which a divorce is being filed, individuals requesting separation may need to claim who’s at fault in the divorce. To claim fault, the spouse requesting a divorce must provide proof that the other spouse is responsible for the end of the marriage. This proof can be provided in multiple ways including but not limited to:

  1. Instances of cruelty, including physical or emotional harm inflicted upon the individual requesting separation
  2. Adultery 
  3. Abandonment of the individual requesting separation and a disregard for marital responsibility and commitment

The spouse who is claimed to be at fault has the opportunity to defend the claim. However, this can lead to a greater financial burden on the at-fault spouse, as well as drag out the divorce process. 

What Does Illinois Law Say about Proving Fault?

While not all states are considered fault states, it’s imperative that individuals understand the variations between at-fault and no-fault divorces. If a state identifies as a no-fault state, the individual requesting separation does not have to provide any evidence of fault as a factor in the marriage’s end. Couples in a no-fault state can simply state that they don’t get along as grounds for a divorce.  Illinois is a no-fault state, meaning that the court will apply the standard of irreconcilable differences that led to the requested divorce.

However, Illinois being a no fault state does not influence whether a divorce will be contested or uncontested. During a contested divorce, the couple disagrees about aspects of the divorce, such as who receives certain property. Opposite of a contested divorce is an uncontested divorce, where both individuals are compliant with the divorce proceedings, have a full agreement of all terms related to the divorce, and neither one attempts to stop the process. In a no-fault divorce, the divorce is considered contested if one spouse disagrees with the divorce proceedings, division of property or any aspect of the process.

Contact Us Today for Assistance With Illinois Divorces

If you are in the process of a divorce or considering filing for one, our Chicago team is here to help you understand your rights and responsibilities regarding divorce proceedings. We will ensure that you feel supported and understood during this difficult time. Contact us today for more information and to speak with one of our trusted attorneys. 

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