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Illinois Divorce Laws

It's a sad fact that a good number of marriages will not work out. As with marriage laws and procedures, states may regulate the manner in which married couples may get divorced. The Illinois divorce laws require residency in the state for at least 90 days, but there is no waiting period before your divorce is final. Illinois also recognizes "no-fault" divorce on the grounds of "irretrievable breakdown."

This article provides a brief overview of divorce laws in the state of Illinois.

Illinois Divorce Laws

States tend to handle divorce differently. The main provisions of Illinois' divorce laws are listed in the table below.

Code Section

§ 750 5/401, et seq. of the Illinois Statutes

Residency Requirements

One spouse must be a resident of Illinois for 90 days before commencing an action

Waiting Period

Final when entered subject to the right of appeal

'No-Fault' Grounds for Divorce

Irretrievable breakdown

Note: Under certain conditions, parties may file a joint petition for simplified dissolution

Defenses to a Divorce Filing


Other Grounds for Divorce


Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

No-Fault Divorce Laws

All states, including Illinois, allow “no-fault" divorce. No-fault divorce means that you do not have to prove that your spouse did anything wrong. Instead, you just have to give any reason that the state honors the divorce. In Illinois, the reason is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken," which is legalese for you and your spouse do not get along and your marital relationship cannot be repaired. Illinois also has alternatives to the standard divorce, such as an annulment or legal separation.

If you have a family, you should be aware of Illinois child custody laws, as well as Illinois laws pertaining to child support guidelines and child support enforcement. If you'd like to do more research on your own, you can find more introductory information in FindLaw's divorce section.

Getting Divorced in Illinois? Get Legal Help

Going through a divorce can be an emotionally and legally difficult process. You might find that consulting with an attorney can ease the strain of dealing with both the divorce paperwork and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, who will likely have legal representation of their own.

Get started today and meet with an experienced divorce attorney in Illinois.

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  • Divorces are tough and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
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Get tailored divorce advice and ask a lawyer questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


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