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How Does Adultery Affect Divorce Proceedings in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce lawyer infidelity adulteryInfidelity in marriage is one of the most common reasons people choose to file for divorce. Once one person in a marriage commits adultery, their partner may feel that their trust has been broken and that they cannot repair the relationship. Couples in Illinois may wonder how adultery can affect their divorce case. 

Grounds for Divorce

The state of Illinois does not accept adultery as a reason to file for divorce. Illinois offers what is called “no-fault” divorce, meaning that neither party is considered to be at fault for the dissolution of the marriage. In the past, the law included a list of several different reasons that could be used as grounds to file for divorce. However, the only grounds for divorce that are currently recognized is “irreconcilable differences,” which means that a couple’s marriage has broken down and is beyond repair. 

Usually, there is no need to demonstrate that irreconcilable differences exist, and a divorce will be granted if both spouses agree to end the marriage. However, if one spouse objects to the divorce, adultery could be shown to be the cause of the irreconcilable differences, and if the petitioner can make the case that the marriage is irretrievable due to these differences, the divorce will typically be granted. If a couple is separated for at least six months, it is presumed they have met the requirement for irreconcilable differences. 

How Can Adultery Affect Spousal Maintenance, Child Support, and Property Division?

If one person in a marriage discovers their partner committed adultery, they may wonder if they can receive more in spousal maintenance (previously known as alimony) in the divorce proceedings. However, Illinois law does not allow for fault to be considered when determining the amount of support a spouse will receive. The Illinois statute on the dissolution of marriage specifically states that maintenance must be determined “without regard to marital misconduct.”

The individual filing for divorce may also believe that adultery can be used as a way to affect the court’s decisions about child support for any children the couple may have. However, the court is not allowed to use marital misconduct to determine the amount of child support. 

Infidelity is not a factor that a judge can consider when making decisions about the equitable division of marital property. However, if a spouse dissipated marital assets while committing marital misconduct (such as spending marital funds to buy gifts for a lover), this dissipation may affect how property is divided. 

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

If you have questions about filing for divorce or your rights and obligations throughout the divorce process, the knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys at Anderson & Associates, P.C. can provide the legal help you need. Our Wheaton divorce lawyers will work to address your concerns and protect your interests, helping you reach a positive resolution to your case. Contact us at 630-653-9400 to arrange a free consultation.




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