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3 Common Myths About Divorce in Illinois

 Posted on July 03,2024 in Divorce

North Aurora, IL divorce lawyerDivorce is a topic that is often misunderstood. Because there are so many laws governing the process, rumors about divorce often circulate until people accept them as facts. You may have heard things about divorce from friends or family members. You may have seen divorce presented in a certain way in films or on television. You may have been told certain things about divorce on social media.

However, divorce is not only different depending on the state; it also differs from person to person. Each couple’s circumstances determine how their divorce process will go. It is important, therefore, not to rely too much on tales from friends and family. Instead, consult an Illinois divorce attorney to avoid misunderstandings about the process.

Here are three common myths about divorce in Illinois.

Myth #1: Adultery Is Grounds for Divorce

People often think that when one spouse commits marital misconduct like adultery, it is grounds for divorce. While this may be true in some states, it is not the case in Illinois. Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, which means the law does not view divorce as being either spouse’s "fault." The only valid reason to get divorced in Illinois is that the parties have "irreconcilable differences." Therefore, there are no "grounds" for divorce in the Prairie State.

Moreover, a spouse’s infidelity will not play a role during the divorce process. Cheating will not impact how marital property is divided, who gets child custody, or which spouse must pay spousal support (alimony).

Myth #2: Marital Property Is Divided Equally

Another myth is that marital property — assets that belong to both spouses — are divided in half. As above, this is true in some states but not in Illinois. 

Possessions acquired by either spouse during the marriage are considered marital property under Illinois law, with some exceptions:

  • Inheritance

  • Gifts given exclusively to one spouse

  • Marital property acquired by using non-marital property as collateral

In Illinois, marital assets are divided fairly, not equally. This means that a judge will decide how to distribute the property based on certain factors, such as:

  • The financial needs of each spouse

  • Each spouse’s income

  • Which spouse has the majority of physical custody, known in Illinois as parenting time

Myth #3: You May Not Be Represented By a Lawyer in Mediation

After filing for divorce, most spouses are ordered by the court to first try to resolve their differences through mediation. In mediation, a neutral negotiator appointed by the court works with both parties to reach a settlement without having to go to trial. People mistakenly assume, therefore, that because it does not take place in court, the parties are not allowed to be represented by attorneys in mediation sessions. On the contrary, spouses who attend mediation can and should hire attorneys to negotiate on their behalf.

Contact a North Aurora, IL Divorce Lawyer

Getting divorced while under false impressions about the process can make it unnecessarily difficult. At The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we guide you through each step of the divorce process with simplicity and clarity. Matthew Williams will dispel any misunderstandings and present your options honestly. Call 630-409-8184 to speak with an experienced Kane County, IL divorce attorney today.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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