How Do I Know If I Should Divorce My Spouse in Illinois?
In 2016, Illinois became a “no-fault divorce” state. This means that, in the view of the law, the only acceptable grounds for divorce in Illinois are “irreconcilable differences.” Irreconcilable differences are defined as the “irretrievable breakdown” of a marriage in which attempts at reconciliation have failed, and any further attempts at reconciling the marriage will not be in the best interests of the family.
In most cases, a couple will agree that their marriage has experienced an irretrievable breakdown, and they will simply need to state this in the divorce petition filed by one spouse. However, if one spouse does not agree that the marriage should end, irreconcilable differences will be presumed if the couple lives “separate and apart” for at least six continuous months.
Since irreconcilable differences now apply to every divorce in Illinois, they can encompass a wide variety of reasons that people get divorced. For this post, we will focus on typical reasons for divorce to help you decide if divorce is the right move for your relationship. However, in our next blog post, we will look at some trending reasons for divorce that are less traditional but are still quite common.
Typical Reasons for Divorce
The following reasons why a couple may choose to end their marriage have been well-established, and research has shown that they continue to be common:
Finances—Spouses act as financial partners, and if either spouse has mismanaged the money in your relationship, especially in your joint accounts, then it can definitely create a major rift in your marriage. In these cases, an experienced divorce lawyer can bring clarity to financial matters and ensure that the division of marital debt and division of property during the divorce process is handled correctly.
Extramarital affairs—If you are cheating on your spouse, or your spouse is cheating on you, and neither of you sees a way to overcome this infidelity through counseling or other means, then divorce might make sense for your situation.
Relationship conflict—A telltale sign of marital discord is constant arguments. While it is always good to communicate with your partner about various issues, productive conversations that turn into mean-spirited arguments are bound to adversely affect both the marriage and the children.
Lack of communication—Conversely, without open lines of communication between spouses, there will be frequent second-guessing and uncertainty about the status of the relationship, not to mention neglect of other major issues in the marriage.
Spousal abuse (physical and/or psychological/emotional)—Domestic violence is a crime, and it is certainly a frequent cause of divorce. There are about 27,000 domestic battery police reports each year in Chicago alone—and there are countless other incidents of domestic violence that go unreported. Moreover, this does not account for the less overt verbal, emotional, psychological, and other abuses that may take place. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you should speak to your local police department to learn about your options for safely leaving the relationship.
Addiction (drug or alcohol abuse)—Drug or alcohol addiction can lead to marital discord and neglect of familial obligations. In these cases, it is often in the best interests of the family to get a divorce. If you or your spouse needs help with addiction, contact a healthcare professional to get the care you need.
Getting married early in life—Life-changing events like marriage should be given careful and mature consideration. If you and your spouse rushed into marriage as high school sweethearts or young lovers, you may have found that the pressures of adulthood have caused the love of your youth to dissipate.
Health issues—If you or your spouse are having health problems, you will both be faced with a substantial emotional and financial toll. Some marriages cannot survive this.
Uncommitted relationship—Marriage takes effort. If either spouse is not fully committed to the relationship, then it might not last.
Religious reasons—The first stumbling block in this area might have been the type of service conducted for your marriage. Different religions make this a difficult decision. What is more, these issues do not end at the altar; someday, you might have to consider what religion to raise your kids in, if any. In other cases, one spouse might be less religious than the other, making it difficult to find common ground on numerous issues.
Unsupportive family—If you or your spouse are close with your family members, it might be upsetting to realize that parents, siblings, or other loved ones do not approve of the other partner. This can make it demanding to start your new life and family with your spouse while still staying close with your birth family.
Contact a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer
If any of these typical reasons for divorce seem prevalent in your marriage, and you think you may be headed for divorce, you should discuss your situation with a DuPage County divorce attorney. It is important to know what is involved in the divorce process and whether a different route, such as legal separation, might be more appropriate for your particular situation. Reach out to us at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation to see if divorce is the right decision for you.