Illinois has been a no-fault divorce state since 2016. This means that a couple may file for divorce without placing blame on either party. In these cases, the two parties may cite that their marriage is an irretrievable breakdown, which asserts that it is impossible to fix the relationship.

If you and your spouse are considering filing for a no-fault divorce, it is helpful to understand certain requirements and how to file for divorce.

Grounds for a no-fault divorce

To qualify for a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse need to have lived separately for a period of two years; however, if both of you agree to sign a document agreeing to waive the length of time, the court may shorten it to a period of six months.

Residence requirements for divorce

To go forward with a no-fault divorce in Illinois, you or your spouse need to have been a resident of the state for a minimum of 90 days. In addition, you need to have lived in the state for at least one year to have resident status.

The process to file for divorce

If you and your spouse have an uncontested divorce, proceedings may be as short as two months. The process for divorce involves filing a few necessary documents. When you begin filing for divorce, you need to file a Petition for Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage, which is available at the county court. You or your spouse need to serve the papers, and the other needs to file an acceptance form.

After this stage, you may wish to complete a Marital Separation Agreement, which is a legal document that discloses the arrangement between you and your spouse regarding the division of property and responsibilities after the divorce.

The court needs to approve the agreement; however, uncontested divorces usually receive approval. You and your ex-spouse may make amendments to the agreement later if you wish to.