Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Illinois Divorce Process

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

Marriage vows may include promises to stay together until death, but in Illinois you don't have to wait that long. All divorces in Illinois do have some timing requirements though. The divorce process in Illinois requires that you or your spouse have resided in the state for at least 90 days prior to commencing divorce proceedings.

There is also a "separate and apart" waiting period intended to allow the parties to cool down and reconsider the decision to divorce. In Illinois this is a period of six months, though parties can waive this waiting period by written agreement.

Illinois No-Fault Divorces

Illinois has long had an "irreconcilable differences" ground for divorce that functioned effectively like a no-fault divorce. Until recently, there were 10 other grounds for divorce available. However, in January of 2016 the state made a remarkable decision to eliminate all fault-based grounds for divorce, leaving irreconcilable differences as the sole remaining basis for divorce.

There is still a significant difference between divorces in which the couple are in agreement about the terms of a split and divorces where the parties disagree about issues such as child support, alimony, or the division of property.

The following chart lists the requirements for the Illinois simplified joint dissolution process:


Illinois Statutes, Chapter 750, Families ยง 5/452

Requirements for Joint Simplified Dissolution
  1. Neither party is dependent on the other for support or they are willing to waive the right to support;
  2. Either party has met the residency requirement;
  3. Proof of irreconcilable differences is established (this can be accomplished with a written statement);
  4. No children were born of the relationship or adopted during the marriage, and the wife, to her knowledge, is not pregnant by the husband;
  5. The marriage lasted for less than 8 years;
  6. Neither party has any interest in real property or retirement benefits, unless the retirement benefits are held in individual retirement accounts and the combined value of the accounts is less than $10,000;
  7. The parties waive the rights to maintenance;
  8. The fair market value of all marital property, minus encumbrances, is less than $50,000, the combined gross income from all sources is less than $60,000 and neither party has a gross annualized income from all sources in excess of $30,000;
  9. The parties have disclosed all assets, liabilities, and tax returns for all years of the marriage;
  10. The parties have executed a written agreement dividing all assets worth more than $100 and allocating responsibility for debts and liabilities between the parties.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Resources

Let an Attorney Guide You Through the Illinois Divorce Process

The Illinois divorce process may be simpler than ever, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider professional assistance. Even an uncontested divorce can raise issues that turn into trouble and a qualified professional can help spot issues before they turn into major problems down the road. Get started today by speaking with an Illinois divorce attorney.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.