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IL divorce lawyerDivorces in Oakbrook Terrace and throughout DuPage County are governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Under the IMDMA, you may already know that the only way to get divorced is through a no-fault divorce path. In other words, Illinois no longer recognizes fault-based grounds for divorce. Rather, to obtain a divorce, the party who files a petition for the dissolution of marriage must plead that “irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage,” and the court must determine that “efforts at reconciliation have failed or that future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family.”

How can you show the court that you have met the requirement of irreconcilable differences, and how does this requirement relate to the term “conciliation” as it is used in the IMDMA? Our Oakbrook Terrace divorce attorneys have more information to help you understand no-fault divorce and the possibility of conciliation.

Irrebuttable Presumption That Irreconcilable Differences Requirement Has Been Met

According to the IMDMA, when spouses have lived separate and apart for at least six months prior to the divorce filing, “there is an irrebuttable presumption that the requirement of irreconcilable differences has been met.” Yet even if there is an irrebuttable presumption that this requirement has been met to allow for a no-fault divorce in Illinois, how can you show the court that efforts at reconciliation have failed and that further attempts to reconcile would not be in the best interests of your family? And can your attempts to get a divorce be thwarted if your spouse insists that she or he does not want to get divorced and that the marriage can be saved?

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IL divorce lawyerMany married couples in DuPage County opt for a legal separation instead of a divorce. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), a legal separation can allow spouses to live separate and apart without actually going through the legal process of divorce while still asking the court to determine issues like support and the allocation of parental responsibilities. There are many different reasons that spouses opt for a legal separation instead of a divorce. For many Muslim families, legal separation is preferable to divorce for religious reasons, but you may also have other motivations for seeking a legal separation instead of divorce. For instance, one of the spouses may need to rely on the other spouse’s health insurance for major treatment or care, or the spouses may be thinking about tax considerations.

Regardless of your initial reason for seeking a legal separation instead of a divorce, you might now be considering a divorce and you may be unsure about the steps you need to take to move forward. It is important to discuss the particular facts of your situation with a DuPage County family lawyer, but in the meantime, we can provide you with general information about moving from a legal separation to a divorce.

You Can File for Divorce After a Legal Separation

The IMDMA is clear that you can file for divorce even if you have a legal separation—you do not need to choose between a legal separation or a divorce with the understanding that the two are mutually exclusive. The IMDMA expressly states:

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IL divorce lawyerWhen you are considering divorce in Oakbrook Terrace, you may be wondering whether you should bring up issues that pertain to your spouse’s fault. In other words, if your spouse engaged in behaviors that led to the destruction of the marriage—such as adultery, family violence, or even behavior that runs counter to your cultural values—you may be pondering whether it will make sense to raise these issues when you file for divorce or respond to a divorce complaint. Some spouses assume that bringing to light matters of “fault” can be beneficial when it comes to spousal maintenance or child custody. While a history of family violence certainly can play a role in the court’s determination of how parental responsibilities should be allocated, you should know that Illinois is firmly a “no-fault” divorce state.

Accordingly, even if your spouse engaged in actions or behavior that are counter to Islamic law, or that are in clear violation of your family’s moral principles, these matters of “fault” typically will not be relevant in a secular divorce proceeding under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). We will provide you with more information about “no-fault” divorce in Illinois, but we want to emphasize that one of our experienced Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyers can speak with you today if you have additional questions or need representation in your divorce case.

Shift from Fault-Based to No-Fault System for Divorce

Illinois did not always operate on a “no-fault” system for divorce. In recent years, Illinois law was amended to remove fault-based grounds for divorce. When legislators decided to make these changes, they recognized that fault-based divorce systems were largely based on unequal presumptions about marriage, and they reasoned that a “no-fault” system would be fairer to all parties involved. As such, nobody seeking a divorce in Illinois must or should supply fault-based grounds for divorce in seeking a dissolution of marriage.

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IL divorce lawyerWe often work with families in the DuPage County Muslim community who have questions about the ways in which Islamic laws are both in conversation with and distinct from Illinois state laws concerning divorce, child custody, and related matters. One issue that often arises in general conversations about Islamic law and divorce is the options that are available to women who want to file for divorce. A recent study of Muslim women and Islamic divorce traditions discusses some of the assumptions that people make about women and Islam, and the various options that may be available to women who are religious and also want to get divorced.

If you are considering your options for divorce but have concerns about divorce in the Islamic tradition versus divorce under state law, one of our experienced Oakbrook Terrace divorce attorneys can speak with you today. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we are committed to serving the Muslim community in DuPage County and can discuss options with you.

Dilemmas of Religious Versus Secular Divorce

According to Anisa Buckley, the author of the study cited above, the Islamic tradition recognizes that both Muslim men and women are allowed to divorce. Yet in some community traditions, Islamic laws are interpreted in ways that allow men to divorce their wives unilaterally, while women must secure their husband’s consent. As such, in some situations, a Muslim woman could find herself fully able to obtain a secular divorce according to state law, but unable to obtain an Islamic divorce because her husband will not agree. In this way, Islamic divorce and secular divorce under state law run parallel to one another and largely do not impact one another.

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IL divorce lawyerIf you are having difficulties in your marriage, you might be considering divorce. At the same time, there are many reasons that you may be thinking about potential alternatives to divorce. To be sure, we work with many Muslim families in DuPage County who want to avoid divorce for religious and cultural reasons. For those families, a legal separation can provide some of the same benefits of divorce without the religious and cultural implications. There are also many financial reasons that legal separation may be preferable to getting divorced. To be clear, a legal separation does not legally end the marriage, but it allows the parties to have some of the benefits that come with a divorce. A divorce, differently, results in a legal end to the marriage.

When you have questions about legal separation versus divorce, you should get in touch with a DuPage County family law attorney who can help with your situation.

What Is a Legal Separation?

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), two people who are married can opt for a legal separation instead of a divorce. Not all states have laws for legal separation, but Illinois is a state that does allow for legal separation. The IMDMA clarifies that “any person living separate and apart from his or her spouse may have a remedy for reasonable support and maintenance while they so live apart.” Under the statute (750 ILCS 5/402), the court is also permitted to enter a judgment for legal separation, which can include a property settlement agreement between the parties that the court approves and enters as part of the judgment.

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IL divorce lawyerIf you are thinking about filing for divorce in Oakbrook Terrace, or if you know that your spouse has plans to file for divorce, you are probably already thinking about the complications of property division. While the distribution of marital property will vary in complexity from case to case depending upon the amount and type of assets and debts involved, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) requires that Illinois courts divide all marital property according to the theory of equitable distribution.

Although the court will determine who marital property is divided until the parties can negotiate a property division agreement or property settlement, it may still be possible for one of the parties to make clear that she or he wants to retain particular property for which she or he is willing to give up other property. In a lot of cases, one of the parties wants to keep the marital home.

Why Would One of the Parties Want to Stay in the Marital Home After a Divorce?

There are a variety of reasons that someone may want to stay in the home after the divorce, from a sentimental attachment to the property to issues like raising your child and wanting to keep kids in the same school district.

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IL divorce lawyerMany DuPage County residents realize that their marriages are not working out and that it may be time to separate from a spouse. For most people, this results in a decision to file for divorce. Yet we also speak with many people who want to know what the difference is between divorce and annulment, and whether they may be eligible for an annulment instead of a divorce. To be sure, there is a common misconception that annulment can be an alternative to divorce and that it can be quicker and easier.

It is important to understand that annulment and divorce simply are not interchangeable. In the most basic terms, a divorce is the only way to dissolve a legal marriage, while an annulment is how two parties would officially dissolve a marriage that was never legal in the first place. We will say more about how these distinctions work.

Annulment: When a Marriage Is Invalid

Annulment is a process that is only possible when a marriage is invalid. While the law in Illinois concerning annulment falls under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), it cannot be used when a couple is legally married.

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Posted on in Illinois Family Law

Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyerLast year, Illinois family law changed in a number of ways, and it is important to understand how these changes might impact you and your family in the event of divorce. Divorce is difficult for Muslim families in DuPage County under any circumstances, but understanding how our state’s laws function during divorce proceedings can help you to be prepared for the weeks and months ahead.

No Fault Divorce in Illinois

We mentioned above that Illinois family law has recently undergone some changes. All of those alterations are reflected in the current Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). One of the first major changes concerns grounds for divorce. Until just recently in Illinois, divorcing spouses could cite grounds for divorce such as adultery, impotence, mental anguish, and habitual drunkenness. However, those terms are different now.

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