All legislatures establish rules regarding custody, support, grounds for divorce and minimal residency requirements before you can file for divorce.
Divorce statutes in Illinois are relatively uncomplicated.
You must be a resident of Illinois, or stationed on a military base in Illinois for three months, before you can file for divorce.
You should file in the circuit court in the county where either you or your spouse reside.
Illinois offers wide-ranging grounds for divorce. You can file on no-fault grounds if you have lived separate for two years or, if both you and your spouse consent to this ground, separately for six months by signing a waiver.
Fault grounds include adultery, desertion after one year, mental or physical cruelty, impotency or habitual drug or alcohol use for a period of two years or more. You can also get a divorce if your spouse was married before and his spouse is still living but he did not divorce her.
Other grounds include a felony conviction or giving a spouse a sexually transmitted disease. If an Illinois judge thinks you have a chance at reconciliation, he can order counseling and a conciliation conference. You can request this as well if you oppose the divorce.
Illinois decides child custody based on what is in the best interest of your child. The parent who actively tries to foster a relationship for the child with her other parent has an edge in custody trials because the state believes it is in the child’s best interest to share quality time with both parents. Judges in Illinois can take the child’s wishes into consideration regarding which parent he would like to live with.
Child support is calculated in Illinois according to the percentage of income formula. The non-custodial parent pays the custodial parent, with a percentage of his net monthly income earmarked for his children.
If you have only one child you pay 20 percent of your net income to your child’s other parent if he lives with her. If you have three children, this increases to 32 percent, to 45 percent if you have five children, and a full half of your income if you have six children or more.
Distribution of Marital Property
Illinois divides marital property according to equitable distribution. If you and your spouse can’t agree on who gets what, the court will apportion it in a way that seems fair.
This doesn’t mean it will be scissored down the middle but rather that the judge will consider each asset and decide who is most in need of it or deserving of it. Marital misconduct, such as if one of you committed adultery, isn’t considered.
Illinois grants alimony or spousal maintenance on a case-by-case basis. There are no guidelines for calculating it, as there are with child support. It may be granted for an indefinite period of time, or it may be for a fixed term to allow one spouse to go back to school or find employment so she can better support herself.
Judges consider the length of the marriage and the standard of living the two of you shared when you were together. Judges try to make sure that neither spouse is left impoverished after a divorce while the other continues to live well, especially after a long-term marriage.