Do Both Parties Have to Agree to Get a Divorce?

HomeBlogDivorceCollaborative DivorceDo Both Parties Have to Agree to Get a Divorce?

Divorce is a complicated legal matter that tends to come with some heavy emotional baggage. If you are seeking a divorce, but your spouse is not in agreement, this fact will not stop you from obtaining a divorce, but it is likely to slow down the process. And you’re well-advised to work closely with an experienced Oak Brook, Illinois, divorce attorney

Illinois Is a No-Fault Divorce State

In the State of Illinois, every divorce is based on irreconcilable differences, which either spouse can claim. In fact, you can’t get a fault-based divorce in Illinois, so there is no point in focusing too closely on your spouse’s fault in the matter (regardless of how relevant it naturally is to you personally). Because Illinois is a no-fault state, however, you don’t have to worry about your spouse successfully fighting the divorce itself (although he or she can fight you regarding the terms of your divorce). 

If Your Spouse Is Nonrespondent

Once you serve your spouse with a notice of your petition to divorce – along with the scheduled court hearing – he or she has 30 days to respond regarding whether or not he or she will contest the divorce at the scheduled hearing. If your spouse chooses not to respond, you can request a default hearing in your favor, but the judge in your case is likely to extend your spouse’s opportunity to respond before going through with this very final move that will render your spouse voiceless in the divorce settlement process. Generally, a spouse who is holding back will respond before his or her opportunity to defend his or her stance has passed. 

If Your Spouse Is AWOL

If your spouse cannot be found, it is a different matter. The court won’t grant a default divorce unless there is ample evidence that you satisfied your responsibility to let him or her know about the proceedings via all of the following:

  • Making every reasonable effort to have your spouse served at the last known address and place of work that you have for him or her
  • Enquiring about your spouse’s whereabouts of anyone whom you believe might know more about the matter than you do
  • Publishing a notice of your divorce summons in a publication that is distributed in the area where your spouse was last known to reside

If Your Spouse Contests the Divorce

The court will allow your spouse the opportunity to contest the divorce you propose, and while this may delay the process, the court will almost certainly fail to be swayed. An important point to make, however, is that if your spouse is ready to go to these kinds of lengths, you can expect your divorce to be highly contentious and protracted in general. 

Turn to an Experienced Oak Brook Divorce Attorney for the Help You Need

Cameron H. Goodman at Goodman Law Firm in Oak Brook is a trusted divorce attorney who takes immense pride in helping clients like you successfully resolve their complicated divorce issues. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.


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