Regardless of how stable your marriage has always been, you may have experienced some challenges. It’s normal for people in a relationship to disagree on some issues. However, if you’re constantly miserable in your marriage, then something is wrong.
Staying in an unhappy marriage out of fear, guilt or for your kids can do more harm than good to you and your loved ones. Therefore, if you’ve tried everything to save your marriage, but nothing works, it may be time to file for divorce.
What happens, however, if your partner opposes the divorce? Will the court deny your petition?
Illinois is a no-fault state for divorce
Illinois no longer has fault-based divorces, which means you don’t have to have any specific “grounds” for the divorce that allege one spouse is responsible for the marital discord. You need merely show that your irreconcilable differences with your spouse have:
- Caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage
- All efforts at reconciliation between you and your spouse have failed
- Any future efforts to repair the marriage would be impractical or otherwise against the family’s best interests as a whole
When one spouse is alleging that the marriage is over and one is insisting that it isn’t, that’s generally a good sign that you have irreconcilable differences. Furthermore, you can create an irrebuttable presumption that you have irreconcilable differences if you “live separate and apart” from your spouse for six months or longer before you file.
What can you do if your partner fails to respond to a divorce petition?
If your spouse doesn’t want to negotiate, ignores the notices from the court and does not respond to the divorce petition, you can ask the court to enter a default judgment. If this happens, the settlement will be in your favor.
What if your spouse fights the divorce in some way?
If your spouse is determined to oppose the divorce, they may try to convince the court that your marriage isn’t irretrievably broken, or (more likely) they may simply turn it into a contested divorce by fighting over every issue. That may be inconvenient, but it will likely only delay things.
If you’re contemplating divorce, you may have good reason to worry about your spouse’s reaction. Fortunately, experienced legal guidance can help you get the best outcome possible.