Ekker Law, P.C. / Steven B. Ekker, Esq.

Can I Get Divorced in Illinois if My Spouse Does Not Want to?

 Posted on July 08, 2022 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce AttorneyIt is not a rare situation for one spouse to want a divorce while the other objects and wants to stay married. This is particularly common when there is abuse or when one spouse has a mental illness or substance abuse problem. It is also common in more conservative religious families where one spouse may not believe in divorce, while the other wants out. If you are the spouse who wants a divorce, you may feel a lot of pressure to stay in your marriage. You may be wondering whether it is even possible to get a divorce over your spouse’s objections. Fortunately, in Illinois, you do not need your spouse’s consent to divorce them. However, divorce can be a bit trickier when your spouse refuses to cooperate

How Do I Get a Divorce Finalized When My Spouse Objects?

If you know your spouse does not want to get divorced, be prepared for the process to take a bit longer. Your attorney will file a petition stating your grounds for divorce - in Illinois, this is always irreconcilable differences. Your spouse is likely to file an answer contesting the divorce. This does not mean that you are not entitled to a divorce - it just means that your spouse is not going to make it easy. However, if your spouse fails to respond at all, then you will most likely receive a default judgment

In most cases, the next step would be attempting some type of alternative dispute resolution so that you could come to an agreement on each issue and file an uncontested divorce. However, this is not likely going to work if your spouse has decided to dig in their heels and refuse to cooperate. This means that your only option is going to be divorce litigation

At this point, some spouses who originally objected will come to the realization that their course of action is both futile and costly. If this is the case, then you may be able to begin negotiations. Otherwise, you will have to ask the court to decide issues like property distribution and a parenting plan. While this may be unpleasant and time-consuming, it will eventually lead to a finalized divorce

It is in your best interest to be represented by counsel. Getting a divorce while your spouse fights to stop it is not easy




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