Divorce in Illinois: Your Complete Guide

divorce in illinois
Worthy Staff

By Worthy Staff | Jul 18th, 2019

If you’re getting a divorce in Illinois, the “Prairie State,” you may be anxious and wondering how the state law views divorce. It’s normal to fret over such a huge life change, but we’ve got all of the basic facts for you on the divorce process so you can start to get prepped and feel informed. From understanding basics on filing to basics on property division and more, this article can give you an overview of what to expect as you file for divorce.

Types of Divorce in Illinois: Fault-Based & No-Fault

A “dissolution of marriage” in Illinois is based on three types of grounds: fault-based or no-fault, or, if the two of you have lived apart for twenty-four months, then no proof of grounds or marital problems are legally necessary. This means that even if one person wants to file no-fault without the spouse agreeing, you can do so in the eyes of the court.

However, most people choose the no-fault route by stating the marriage is irrevocably broken and impossible to repair.

If this is the route you and your spouse are choosing, here are some basics you need to know:

What About A Fault-Based Complaint?

Filing for a fault-based divorce will more complicated than no-fault, so keep that in mind. Another fact about divorce law in Illinois is filing for a fault-based divorce won’t help you in regards to property division, typically. Judges do not factor fault in when it comes to property division in Illinois in most cases.

Here are examples of reasons people file for fault-based divorce in Illinois:

As you can see, these grounds would make finalizing a divorce more complicated.

Other Facts To Know About Filing

There are two types of divorce: uncontested or contested. Contested means the spouses don’t agree to various matters and uncontested means that both parties do agree. In the case of a contested divorce, this can make the divorce drag on. Often parties are fighting over matters such as: where children should live (custody matters), child support issues, property division squabbles, martial debt issues and alimony. In the case of an uncontested divorce where all parties agree, the divorce agreement must still get a final approval by a judge, whose goal is to determine that the agreement is reasonable enough and will support the children of the marriage if there are any.

Property Division & Others Matters Regarding Divorce In Illinois

Like many other states, Illinois and Illinois courts supports equitable division. This means that:

Marital property is what the judge will divide, but the non-martial property will stay with the owner.Some other facts you need to know about property division:

Matters of Child Custody & Child Support

Here are two other big issues often fretted over during the divorce process: child custody and child support.


Generally, the Illinois courts want both parents to have as much time as possible with the child and favor a joint custody situation. Ultimately, whatever is in the best interest of the child/children is how the judge will determine the final say on the custody schedule. Here are a few factors (but not all) that the judge will consider when deciding on child custody matters:

Overall, the court really wants both parents involved as long as both parents have healthy relationships with the children.


Child support is calculated on how many overnights or time the parents spend with the children and how much each person makes. Keep in mind: if you are divorcing and have children, the court system of Illinois requires you to take a parenting class before your divorce and custody schedule is finalized. The goal is for both parents to understand how to help children succeed and be happy after divorce.

Insights From Jumping In: Dating After Divorce in 2019

In 2019, Worthy conducted a study on how divorce women approach divorce and dating in today’s world.

Age of Today’s Divorced Woman
Of the women we surveyed, 42% divorced between the ages of 35-44 and 28% between 45-54, indicating that midlife is the most common time for marriages to break up. Only 9% divorced after the age of 55 and the younger women, 34 and under, made up 22%.

Divorce Proceedings in the 21st Century
We asked our participants to share what legal processes they were familiar with for divorce. Litigation (53%) and mediation (48%) were at the top of the list but many were also familiar with alternative routes such as low-conflict collaborative divorce (25%). Services like working with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst are much less well-known (5%).

Divorce Finances 101
When it came to the big issues, the majority of women felt sufficiently informed to make decisions. This included issues like health insurance (60%) and the marital house (56%). However, when it came to issues outside of the immediate household, such as taxes, the participants felt less informed.

Dating After Divorce
Dating is at the forefront of many divorcees’ minds. 78% of the women have already started thinking about dating by the time the divorce papers are signed. 40% of women feel confident about dating after divorce, 68% feel excited and hopeful. 59% of divorced women meet dates on online dating websites or apps.

Getting Divorced The Easier Way

Divorce can be a complicated, draining and expensive process, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re looking to file for an uncontested divorce in
Illinois, do it the easy way with our friends at It’s Over Easy, the only online divorce solution that guides you through every aspect of your case, founded by celebrity divorce lawyer Laura A. Wasser. 

“After practicing Family Law for over 20 years I came to realize that people deserve a better way to get divorced. I founded It’s Over Easy to give people a high-quality, less expensive & more amicable option. Our platform takes the user through the entire dissolution process. We provide information and support along the way through our content on our Insights Blog, the Divorce Sucks! Podcast and The Index, our curated professional and lifestyle resource guide. Divorce is difficult but the legal part shouldn’t have to be.” 
–Laura A. Wasser


Getting Some Support for Your Divorce in Illinois

There are a lot of questions you still have, but the good news is there are many people and professionals here to help you along your divorce journey.

This is a great checklist with resources you’ll need to make the divorce process as smooth as possible:

Focus Area OrganizationWebsite

National Association of
Divorce Professionals


Certified Divorced


Association of
Financial Planners



How Can Worthy Help

Without a doubt, the team at Worthy is here for you on your divorce journey, from making that insomnia-inducing decision to divorce, to moving on with peace in your heart and thriving in a whole new life after your divorce is final. One of the biggest things we can do at Worthy is help you sell your engagement ring and diamond jewelry for more by providing insured shipping (up to $100,000!), 3rd party diamond grading and professional photos, shown to hundreds of buyers ready to bid on it. Our highly respected online auction house brings together vetted top buyers and sellers just like you, going through the exact same situation and life change, to get the best value for your engagement ring and other diamond jewelry, in a safe and transparent environment.

Of course…it’s not always easy to let go of jewelry sprung from a previous marriage and past love, but when you’re ready to say goodbye to the old, we’re here. In fact, selling your old engagement ring, wedding band and jewelry from your broken marriage is a great way to get out bad energy and earn money towards your financial goals, post-divorce. Here’s to a brighter future!

Divorce process guide for main US states

Legal Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice on any subject matter. Consult with an attorney for more information regarding your individual situation.

Worthy Staff

Worthy Staff

The Worthy Blog is a place for inspiration, insight, and advice for all things surrounding life's greatest transitions - divorce, losing a loved one, retirement, and so much more. You can find us on our blog, Instagram, and Facebook.


©2011-2024 Worthy, Inc. All rights reserved.
Worthy, Inc. operates from 25 West 45th St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10036