The legal requirements for divorce may vary from state to state. For example, in Illinois, at least one spouse must have lived in the state for a minimum of 90 days. On the other hand, there is no waiting period to have a divorce finalized. Individuals can seek a no fault divorce after they have been separated for a minimum of two years. A no fault divorce means that a spouse does not have to prove that the other did anything wrong. The grounds for a no-fault divorce are simply that the relationship is beyond repair.
A standard divorce can be granted on the grounds of willful desertion, drug addiction or domestic violence. Additional grounds for divorce include unexplained absence, attempted murder of spouse, a prior marriage that was not dissolved or adultery. As an alternative to divorce, couples may seek either a legal separation or an annulment.
Divorce can be a complex and emotional process. In addition to ending a marriage, the couple's property will need to be accounted for and divided. If there are children, arrangements will need to be made regarding custody, visitation and child support. A family law lawyer can help with the process of dividing property and creating a child custody plan that works for all parties involved. If the couple can agree to terms prior to the court hearing, a judge is likely to accept those terms.
If the couple cannot come to an agreement, the judge may use a standard formula to create a divorce order that does not necessarily consider all the needs of the couple or their children. If the couple can agree on most terms, however, the remaining contested issues may be worked out through litigation in court.
Source: Findlaw, "Illinois Legal Requirements for Divorce", December 02, 2014