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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois abusive spouse lawyerAccording to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness, and approximately one in 25 adults in the U.S. (11.2 million) experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. One of these major life activities may be divorce, adding to the complication of the situation.

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act

Filing for divorce is not an easy process. When filing, you may take one of two options: filing with “grounds for divorce” or “no-fault.” However, unlike most other states, a spouse’s mental illness isn’t grounds for divorce in Illinois.

As of the change in 2016, The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, Illinois is now a no-fault divorce only state, meaning that all fault-based grounds have been eliminated, and a claim of irreconcilable differences (an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage) is the only way to legally file. Although a mental illness issue or impairment cannot be the reason to file for divorce, it may affect the outcome of the divorce.


By Maxine Weiss Kunz

IllinoisFault grounds in divorce in Illinois are abolished as of January 1, 2016. What does that mean? In short, the following grounds should no longer be plead in a petition for dissolution of marriage and will no longer suffice as grounds for a divorce:

  • Adultery (cheating);
  • Desertion (left the home);
  • Habitual drunkenness (alcoholism);
  • Drug addiction;
  • Attempted murder;
  • Mental cruelty (emotional abuse);
  • Physical cruelty (physical abuse);
  • Infecting your spouse with a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

What remains as grounds for divorce is the no fault grounds of “Irreconcilable Differences.” This is the ground that asserts the marriage has broken down to the extent it can no longer be repaired and that divorce is imminent.

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