Every dissolution of marriage case in Illinois begins with the filing of an initial petition. A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is a general petition that alleges the basic, boilerplate information about youre marriage and what you are seeking. For example, a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage will generally state the parties’ names, where they work (or if they are employed), where they live, how long they have lived there, if there is marital property, if there are children, if they want spousal support, etc. Some Petitions are very detailed and some are not very detailed. A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage must also allege the grounds by which you want to be granted a divorce, most commonly, irreconcilable differences.
Sometimes other grounds can be alleged in a Petition, such as mental cruelty, physical cruelty, adultery, etc. Parties often are upset by seeing these “grounds” and want to know why they are there, what they mean, and how they can be disputed. There really are two ways to do so.
First, everyone that files an Appearance in a dissolution of marriage case in Illinois is afforded time to respond in writing to the initial Petition. In the Answer, the responding party can “admit” or “deny” all of the allegations set forth in the Petition, line by line, and file it with the Court. This lets the Court know what is disputed. Another option is to file a Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, wherein the responding party alleges all of the factual information about the marriage, the grounds they wish to use and what they are looking for. Then, the responding party can respond in writing to all of the allegations in said Counter-Petition.
If you are confused or have questions about the grounds for divorce in Illinois and are seeking legal counsel, our attorneys can assist you and you may call our office.