Does Fault Matter in a Divorce?


While every situation is different and your approach to divorce will vary depending on your unique needs and concerns, in most cases fault is simply not an issue in a divorce. Infidelity, abandonment, and other traditional fault-based grounds for divorce will not influence spousal support or property division. Abuse or mistreatment could impact custody, but it is not necessary to file a fault-based divorce in order to address these issues during divorce proceedings.

On top of this, fault will no longer be an issue in any Illinois divorce for a marriage that took place on or after January 1, 2016. On this date, Illinois became a truly no-fault state when it comes to divorce. Public Act 99-90 eliminated all fault-based grounds for divorce, including abandonment, adultery, and mental cruelty, to name a few.

Under Illinois’ new no-fault law, the only grounds for divorce is “irreconcilable differences.” This can be described as a relationship that has broken down to such a state that reconciliation has failed, is not possible in the future, or is not in the best interests of the family. Accordingly, spouses can file for divorce if they live separate and apart for at least six months. Even if one spouse does not want to divorce, if the other spouse can prove that they have lived separate and apart for at least six months, the divorce can proceed.

If you were married prior to January 1, 2016 and are wondering whether fault should matter in your divorce, the answer is most likely no. By calling our offices, however, you can get insight that applies to your particular situation. Our DuPage County divorce lawyers are experienced and prepared to offer helpful guidance.

At the Law Office of David A. King, P.C. we represent clients in Oak Brook, DuPage County, and across the surrounding areas in Illinois in divorce and other family law matters. To schedule a consultation, call (630) 504-7210.


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