What are Grounds for Divorce and why Do We Need Them?

Answer: Grounds for divorce are the legal reasons that you need to bring a case to court.

dupage-divorce-newA judge cannot grant relief in any case until he or she first determines that certain necessary elements that pertain to that type of case have occurred. For example, if you sue someone for breach of contract, one such element would be to establish that the parties did indeed enter into a contract. Similarly, if you want to sue because of an auto accident, you have to be able to prove that the accident actually happened.

Divorce is a lawsuit just like any other lawsuit, and it requires proof of its vital elements, not the least of which is the ground (or legal reason) for the divorce. If the party that files for divorce fails to prove the ground for divorce, the court will dismiss the case.


As of January 1, 2016, Illinois eliminated all ten of its fault grounds for divorce, and now has only one “no-fault” ground – Irreconcilable Differences.

In order to prove Irreconcilable Differences, the party seeking the divorce must merely testify that irreconcilable difference have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, and that further attempts to save the marriage would be futile, and not in the best interests of either party.

THE SPOUSES DO NOT NEET TO BE SEPARATED to use this ground unless one of the parties does not agree to the divorce. In this situation, the parties must be separated six months, and then the resistant party cannot stop the divorce from happening. The six month separation may not necessarily mean separate residences, and need not occur prior to filing for divorce. It is only necessary that the parties have been separated for six months at the time of their trial or final hearing.

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Richard and Kari are staunch advocates of the non-court approach to divorce, and are also active and seasoned litigators with over 70 years of combined trial experience in the Illinois divorce courts of Cook, DuPage, and Will counties.