Irreconcilable Differences: We ALL got ’em right?

Jonathan Merel

Every couple has their ups and downs; even the seemingly “happiest” couples fight. It’s a part of life. Sometimes the fighting is manageable and sometimes it gets to a point where enough is enough! As a result, the rate of divorce  in American society has increased over the past several decades. Although there are many different factors that may lead a couple to get divorce, the most common ground used when they need to establish grounds for divorce in Illinois is irreconcilable differences.

Irreconcilable differences can describe anything that ultimately led to the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Irreconcilable differences are often times each other’s idiosyncrasies that you can no longer tolerate which boil up and lead to failed reconciliation.

Other times, irreconcilable differences go a lot deeper. Many couple’s cite irreconcilable differences as grounds for their divorce when there are major financial disagreements, conflicting views on having children, disagreements regarding relocation, lack of intimacy or tarnished relationships with the in-laws. All of these could leave very long lasting emotional effects on those involved.

After you have filed for divorce in Illinois and stated irreconcilable differences there is a mandatory two-year waiting period to finalize the case. The law states that the couple must live separate and apart for a minimum of two years. However, this can be waived if both parties agree. In this instance, the waiting period is six months of living separate and apart. Further, separate and apart doesn’t necessarily mean living in separate households. It simply means not living together as husband and wife would, even if under the same roof.

However if you cite one of the “at fault” grounds for divorce, there is no waiting period before your divorce can be finalized.  An at fault divorce is a very specific instance that lead to the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage such as extreme and repeated physical and mental cruelty, alcohol abuse, transmission of an STD or a felony.

As such, a benefit of citing irreconcilable differences for your divorce is that you will not need to plead specific instances of your spouse’s transgressions to prove he or she was at fault. This can save a lot of time, money, and emotional stress.

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