With the elimination of the fault grounds for divorce, anyone seeking to file for divorce in Illinois can only cite irreconcilable differences, resulting in a no-fault divorce. The term irreconcilable differences may be a familiar term from media coverage of high-profile divorces, but to get specific, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act defines irreconcilable differences as those that “have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and [where] the court determines that efforts at reconciliation have failed or that future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family.”
It is important to mention that eliminating grounds for divorce has no bearing on spousal maintenance or what is commonly referred to as alimony, and that the new law actually clarifies that the “length of the marriage,” for the purpose of calculating spousal maintenance, is determined by using the date of the marriage until the date that the first party files for divorce.
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