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


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Will It Affect My Illinois Divorce if My Ex Files First?

 Posted on February 28,2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerDivorce is a complicated process. There are so many factors to take into consideration and steps that need to be completed that it can feel hard to keep track of it all. This is true even in the beginning stages of a divorce. How do you even begin divorce proceedings? Does it matter where you file for divorce? Does it matter who does? Below, we will examine any implications there may be regarding who files for divorce. Of course, a knowledgeable Aurora, IL divorce attorney can provide more detailed information that will be relevant to your specific case.

Does It Matter Who Files First?

In the state of Illinois, whoever files first for divorce has no bearing on the proceedings that will follow. As Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, neither side should provide any reason other than “irreconcilable differences” for wishing to end the marriage. As such, there is no legal advantage to filing first since neither side needs to prove anything other than the fact that they simply cannot get along anymore.

That being said, there are certain benefits to filing first for divorce and thus being considered the petitioner. First, you are the one who can determine which county your divorce will be handled in. This becomes more important if you and your spouse no longer live in the same county. In general, however, there are no legal advantages for the petitioner.

Additionally, filing first has no influence over child custody deliberations. If your spouse files first, there is no cause for concern. The court will still examine the parent-child relationship and what is in the child’s best interest.

What Does No-Fault Divorce Mean?

In the state of Illinois, neither spouse needs to be considered responsible for the marriage ending. The couple simply no longer wishes to be married. Irreconcilable differences mean that nothing can be done to change that.

In order to be approved for a no-fault divorce, you both need to agree that there are irreconcilable differences and you have to be able to show that you have been living separately from your spouse for at least half a year.

Contact a Kane County, IL Divorce Lawyer

If you and your spouse are headed toward divorce, you might have many questions about the process you are about to embark on. An experienced Batavia, IL family law attorney can provide you with the answers to those questions. Call The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. at 630-409-8184 to get started.

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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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