In most divorce cases, if the divorcing couple has not been able to agree to the terms by themselves or with a mediator, they will have to go before a judge. While the judge may have to work out remaining details of property division or child custody at that point, it is reasonable for the couple to expect the judge to grant their divorce, so long as both parties agree that they have irreconcilable differences. This is the case in Illinois and most other states.
However, in an unusual recent case in a southern state, a judge would not grant a couple’ divorce because she said their differences did not appear irreconcilable. According to news reports, the judge said she saw that the parties got along in court and told them they should try to reconcile.
This was an unusual case from a different state, but in one way it is not entirely out of the ordinary. While it is considered grounds for divorce if the parties agree they have irreconcilable difference, the court does require some proof. In Illinois, a judge will need to determine that a couple has irreconcilable differences to agree to grant them a divorce. The judge must believe that those irreconcilable differences have cause the marriage to break down permanently.
In addition to that determination, the judge also needs to establish that the couple has tried to reconcile, or fix the marriage, and that it was determined to be impossible and not in the best interests of the family. The couple must also present documentation and proof to the judge. Part of that proof is the signed divorce papers, which both spouses must have in their possession. In Illinois, if the couple has lived apart for six months before the divorce hearing, the judge will consider that the couple has met the requirement to prove irreconcilable differences.
The more common scenario in divorce cases
In most divorces, as long as the couple meets the residency requirements and both spouses agree that they have irreconcilable differences, they will be able to obtain a divorce. At the best of times, divorce is painful (emotionally) and can be expensive. That is where a skilled divorce lawyer can help you to achieve results that keep the emotional pain and financial strain under control.
Divorce is a difficult situation for everyone concerned, including the spouses and other family members. Divorce is multifaceted and, depending on your personal situation, you may have to make decisions on child custody and support, asset division, and other serious issues. It is important that you try to get through it with as little stress as possible so that everyone’s suffering is kept to a minimum.