When a marriage nears its end, the situation can become contentious rather quickly. Both spouses may deal with feelings of resentment, guilt, anger, and fear. Another common element in many divorces is the financial strain that comes with it. If one spouse cannot afford to move out, then the spouses may be stuck living together until a solution can be reached.
Many spouses question whether they can even get a divorce if they are still living together. They wonder if there is a mandatory separation period in Illinois before divorce is permitted and how long it must last.
If you find yourself in this situation, read on to learn about the divorce requirements in Illinois and what to do if you want to file for divorce but cannot move out immediately.
There is No Longer a Mandatory Separation Period for Divorce
In the past, Illinois required spouses to live separately for a period of at least six months before they could obtain a divorce. This separation period was intended to give couples time to think things through and consider reconciliation. However, in 2016, this requirement was removed from the state laws. Now, you do not have to live apart for any length of time before getting divorced.
Presently, Illinois has one “ground” or legal reason for divorce: irreconcilable differences. If both spouses agree that their differences cannot be overcome, they can get divorced right away. However, if a spouse objects to the divorce and denies that there are irreconcilable differences, living apart for six months or longer is considered proof of irreconcilable differences. So, living apart is one way to meet the grounds for divorce.
Separate and Apart Can Be in the Same House
Fortunately, Illinois courts recognize that living in two separate homes is not always practical. The spouses can still meet the irreconcilable differences standard by living separately within the same home. For example, one spouse may stay in a guest bedroom or basement while the other spouse keeps the main bedroom. If the spouses are not sharing a bed or engaging in a marriage-like relationship, Illinois courts generally consider this living separately.
Exclusive Possession of the Marital Home
Sometimes, living together is simply not an option. If the physical or mental wellbeing of either spouse or the children is jeopardized because of the spouses living together, the court allows a spouse to seek exclusive possession of the marital home. If sharing a home is endangering your physical or mental wellbeing, you may be able to ask the court to temporarily evict your spouse.
Contact our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers
Divorcing spouses are not required to move out before getting divorced, but living under the same roof can sometimes exacerbate hostility. For legal support and sound advice during your divorce, contact our Wheaton divorce attorneys. Call 630-665-7300 for a confidential consultation.