September 13, 2022
Deciding that it’s time to divorce your spouse can be a difficult and emotional process. Oftentimes, individuals hope that their spouse agrees to the divorce to make divorce proceedings as smooth as possible. However, individuals filing for a divorce may find themselves in a situation where their spouse refuses to go through with divorce proceedings. At Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group, we’re here to help Illinois residents understand what to do if their spouse refuses a divorce.
When an individual requests a divorce from their spouse, divorce papers will need to be served to that individual. This information tells the spouse that a divorce is being requested, and legal proceedings are set to begin. A spouse who has received divorce papers must acknowledge that they’ve received notice by filing an appearance at their local courthouse and filling out the necessary paperwork in response to the divorce request. Spouses have 30 days upon receiving their papers to file before it’s considered a default divorce. This simply means that the spouse has failed to meet the requirements outlined by Illinois law, and the filing spouse will typically receive what they asked for in their divorce petition.
In most cases, if a spouse refuses to divorce, divorce proceedings can still occur in the state of Illinois. Illinois is considered a no-fault state, meaning a spouse filing for divorce doesn’t have to prove that the other spouse was at fault for ending the marriage. This can be helpful if spouses refuse divorce, as they don’t need to agree on who’s responsible for the end of the marriage. However, a spouse refusing divorce can argue against no-fault divorce and wish to place blame on the opposing spouse. In this case, the filing spouse should prove that the couple had irreconcilable differences that impacted their marital relationship. For example, if the couple has lived apart for six months or longer, the court will assume that they have irreconcilable differences and proceed with a no-fault divorce. Even if a spouse tries to place blame for a divorce, the court can still agree that the couple had irreconcilable differences.
If your spouse refuses divorce or fails to respond to divorce papers after 30 days, the filing spouse can request a default divorce. The spouse will still be notified that they’re considered in default. Both spouses will be notified of a court date to discuss divorce proceedings. During this hearing, the court will make a decision regarding the divorce provisions and rule in favor of either spouse, though typically, if one spouse disagrees, it will go to the filing spouse. If a spouse is non-compliant, Illinois will typically grant the wishes of the filing spouse during the hearing.
If you have questions about divorce proceedings in Illinois, contact our team today. We’re happy to assist with all of your legal needs.