No-fault divorce in Illinois: what is it?

As a divorce lawyer, many people contact me asking for help with a “no-fault divorce.” Most of those people are actually looking for an “uncontested divorce,” also known as a “amicable divorce” or a “divorce by agreement.”

I wrote this article to help people understand the term “no-fault” and why that’s not the same as an uncontested divorce.

Grounds for divorce in Illinois

In Illinois, one filing for divorce must state the grounds for the divorce.

I estimate that more than 90%of the divorces in Illinois are on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences.”

That’s because it is normally pointless to allege other fault-based grounds, even if they exist. Other fault-based grounds for divorce are mental cruelty, adultery, and others. The reason people don’t allege other grounds is because those grounds then have to be proven – and there is no payoff.

The main point is that saying you want a “no-fault divorce” is not the same as wanting an uncontested divorce. Many contested divorces than become very acrimonious and expensive are on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences,” or no-fault.

For a bit more about fault-based grounds for divorce, see my article “Cheating and adultery: relevant to divorce in Illinois?

You probably want an uncontested divorce

If you are in agreement with your spouse, then you want an uncontested divorce in Illinois. Yes, the grounds will be “irreconcilable differences,” but that’s really an afterthought.

An uncontested divorce is the fastest and most affordable way to get divorced in Illinois.

I wrote the articles “What is an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois?” and “Uncontested divorce: a lawyer’s role” to explain uncontested divorce in Illinois. And I also created the website, which is dedicated to the subject.

Finding an uncontested divorce lawyer

I handle uncontested divorces in Chicago and the Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, Kendall, McHenry, and Will.  You can contact me at 312-554-5433.


About the author: Contact Illinois family law attorney David Wolkowitz at 312-554-5433 or online. He is a family law and divorce attorney serving Chicago and the Counties of Cook, Champaign, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. Areas of practice include divorce, uncontested divorce, child custody, visitation, spousal maintenance, child support, and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act (the “UCCJEA”).