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These practice area statements are provided by the attorneys from Murphy & Dunn and represent their thoughts on practicing law over the past 36 years in family law. They are not legal advice. They are a general overview of the law, with specific statutes cited for your review, and opinions on how they generally apply in divorce cases in Illinois. Each and every case is different.

To learn more, and to see if the attorneys and staff at Murphy & Dunn, P.C. can help you, please visit our Contact page to schedule your free initial consultation.


Illinois is now a no-fault divorce state. All of the prior grounds for divorce, such as mental cruelty, physical cruelty, adultery, etc. have all been taken away. As a result, grounds are now just a formality that is required in every case to obtain a dissolution of marriage, but no longer ever a litigated issue. In fact, if the parties agree, many courts allow the parties to simply stipulate to the grounds and grant the divorce without even a hearing held.

90 Day Residency Requirement.

Section 401(a) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides: The court shall enter a judgment of dissolution of marriage when at the time the action was commenced one of the spouses was a resident of this State or was stationed in this State while a member of the armed services, and the residence or military presence had been maintained for 90 days next preceding the commencement of the action or the making of the finding.

Grounds of Irreconcilable Differences.

Section 401(a) also provides: Irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and the court determines that efforts at reconciliation have failed or that future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family.

Section 401(a-5) provides”: If the parties live separate and apart for a continuous period of not less than 6 months immediately preceding the entry of the judgment dissolving the marriage, there is an irrebuttable presumption that the requirement of irreconcilable differences has been met.

Findings Required in the Final Judgment.

Section 401(b) provides: Judgment shall not be entered unless, to the extent it has jurisdiction to do so, the court has considered, approved, reserved or made provision for the allocation of parental responsibilities, the support of any child of the marriage entitled to support, the maintenance of either spouse and the disposition of property. The court shall enter a judgment for dissolution that reserves any of these issues either upon (i) agreement of the parties, or (ii) motion of either party and a finding by the court that appropriate circumstances exist.

The death of a party subsequent to entry of a judgment for dissolution but before judgment on reserved issues shall not abate the proceedings.

Although grounds have been made simple, the dissolution process is still a complicated and important process that requires the use of an attorney specializing in family law to obtain the best possible result. All we do is divorce, custody and family law cases. For further information, please fill out our Contact Us form, e-mail us at, or call us at 309.674.5551 to schedule your free initial office consultation at either of our two convenient office locations.