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


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

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Does Domestic Violence Change the Divorce Process in Illinois?

 Posted on October 29, 2021 in Domestic Violence

Oswego family law attorneyStaying in a marriage where physical or emotional violence is present eventually becomes unsustainable, and domestic violence is the primary cause for many divorces in Illinois. Because Illinois only allows “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for divorce, rather than allocating fault to one spouse or the other, domestic violence cannot be grounds for divorce.

However, that does not mean that the presence of domestic violence does not affect a divorce’s proceedings or its outcome. If you are experiencing domestic violence and are considering leaving your marriage, it is important to work with an Illinois divorce attorney who can help.

Gathering Evidence

It is important to collect any information that proves domestic violence happened or continues to happen. This can be difficult and scary, and it is important to keep evidence safe where an abuser cannot find or destroy it. Police reports, text messages, videos, and voicemails may all be potential proof of domestic violence. An attorney can help you with evidence of domestic violence in your divorce case.

Parenting Time and Parental Responsibilities

Domestic violence from one parent towards the other is not generally sufficient to completely eliminate parenting time between the abuser and a child. But if a child has been abused mentally or physically, a judge may restrict parenting time altogether. This means that one parent will have a totality of parenting time and will likely receive child support from the other parent.

Judges can also make decisions about parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities by considering whether a child could be exposed to conflict between parents during the transfer of the child from one parent to the other. The child’s best interests will always be a judge’s primary concern.

Asset Division

Judges can order a freeze of assets during divorce proceedings so an abusive spouse cannot spend, hide, or dissipate (waste) marital income or other assets. If an abusive spouse has already dissipated assets, a judge can alter the division of property to compensate the victimized spouse for the dissipation. Judges will try to divide property and debts in a way that allows a spouse victimized by domestic violence to move forward with their life with as much independence from the abuser as possible.

Speak with an Experienced Kendall County Divorce Lawyer

Leaving an abusive partner can be a very frightening and intimidating process. That is why at The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we will help you navigate the entire divorce process with compassion and skill. From the moment we begin helping you understand your options to the moment the divorce is finalized, we will be with you every step of the way. Schedule a consultation in person, by phone, or over Zoom with an Oswego divorce attorney today by calling our offices at 630-409-8184.


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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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