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Illinois family lawyerMarried couples can file for divorce in Illinois regardless of fault. Traditional “at fault” grounds include adultery, physical or mental cruelty, alcohol abuse, and impotence. But as of 2016, Illinois divorces can be based on “irreconcilable differences,” which are a “no-fault” reason for divorce. “No-fault” is exactly what it sounds like: neither spouse is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage.

However, in some cases, the court or the spouses may decide that there is a chance for reconciliation. For example, the couple might benefit from marriage counseling or an opportunity to work out marital conflict. If the court or parties think reconciliation is possible then the court may order a conciliation conference. But just because there is a chance for reconciliation doesn’t mean the parties actually will - or have to - reconcile.

The Conciliation Conference

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois family lawyerAn annulment, which Illinois calls “declaration of invalidity of marriage,” is another way to end a marriage. Annulment is not the same thing as divorce. When your marriage is declared invalid, legally it is like the marriage never happened. The court will declare your marriage invalid from the date of the marriage. Declaration of invalidity may preclude you from seeking maintenance. It also means there is no marital property to divide between the two parties.

(However, in some cases the court will find “that the interests of justice would be served by making the judgment not retroactive.” In other words, the invalidity will not date back to the date of the marriage.)

Grounds for a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce lawyerIllinois does not want divorce proceedings to be drawn out any longer than they have to be. While the timetable for a divorce case depends on its overall complexity, there are procedural time limits that are strictly enforced.

The party petitioning for divorce must file the proper paperwork with the clerk of the circuit court. The clerk will issue a summons, which will then be served upon the defendant. The defendant then has 30 days to file a response to the divorce petition. Failure to respond on time could result in a default judgment against the defendant.

Why Is the Response Important in a Divorce Case?

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Illinois divorce lawyerNot every couple is the same. Some couples want to get married, and others are perfectly happy living and sharing their lives together “unofficially.” But the law generally prefers “married” to “ cohabiting,” and married couples enjoy legal rights that are not afforded to unmarried partners.

Some couples consider themselves married without going through the formalities. But does Illinois recognize that kind of partnership as marriage?

Does Illinois Recognize Common Law Marriage?

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Illinois divorce lawyerWhen a child is born to a husband and wife, the law presumes that the husband is the father. But if the parents are not married or in a civil union when the child is born, the father is not legally considered a parent. The situation becomes even more complicated if the child is born to a married couple, but a third party claims paternity.

Establishing paternity is crucial for a father who wants custody or visitation rights and for a mother who wants child support. Here is what you need to know about establishing paternity in Illinois.

When Parentage Is Presumed

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