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Is There a Waiting Period to Get a Divorce in Illinois?

When you are trying to decide whether to file for divorce, you may be wondering if there is a waiting period, especially if you are trying to move forward with your divorce as quickly as possible. While some states do have waiting periods for divorce, Illinois does not officially have a waiting period. At the same time, it is important to pay attention to some timing requirements under Illinois law that can affect your ability to get divorced in the state. Our Illinois divorce attorneys can explain in more detail about the timing requirements you should pay attention to before you file for divorce.

Illinois Residency Requirement

In order for a court to enter a judgment of dissolution of marriage after a spouse files a petition, at least one of the spouses in the divorce case must meet a residency requirement outlined in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Under the IMDMA, one of the spouses has to be a resident of the state of Illinois, or must have been stationed in Illinois while in the armed services, for at least 90 days prior to filing a petition for the dissolution of marriage.

To be clear, only one of the spouses must meet the residency requirement. Regardless of whether another spouse lives in Illinois or another state, or has never resided in Illinois, the party filing for divorce can have the divorce granted as long as she or he was a resident of the state at the time of filing. Yet it is also important to recognize that the party filing for divorce does not need to be the spouse who meets the residency requirement. As long as one of the spouses—whether it is the spouse filing the petition for dissolution or the spouse being served with divorce papers—has resided in Illinois for at least 90 days.

Timing Requirement for Living Separate and Apart

Beyond the residency requirement, the spouses usually must have lived separate and apart for six months or longer before the petition for dissolution of marriage was filed in order for the court to grant the divorce. Why does this requirement exist?

Since Illinois is a no-fault state for divorce, no grounds for divorce must be alleged in order for the divorce to be granted. Instead, under the IMDMA, the court must find that irreconcilable differences are present and that no efforts to overcome them would be worthwhile for the parties involved. The way the court makes this finding is, in effect, by determining that the spouses have lived separate and apart for six months or more. As the IMDMA explains, when the parties have lived separate and apart for at least six months, the court presumes that the couple has irreconcilable differences. 

Contact an Illinois Divorce Lawyer

If you have questions about timing requirements for your divorce, one of our Illinois divorce attorneys can assist you. Contact Arami Law, Inc. today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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