Grounds

There are a number of grounds or reasons under which you can ask for a divorce in Illinois Law. They include mental cruelty, physical cruelty, abandonment, adultery and irreconcilable differences. Most people opt for irreconcilable differences so you do not have to say anything mean about the other side, you just state that you are no longer able to get along. If you have hopes of working things out amicably, I would recommend filing on grounds of irreconcilable differences. Often times, allegations of mental cruelty or other grounds, cause people to become angry at the accusations, and are in a much less conciliatory mood to discuss settlement. The grounds have absolutely nothing to do with the property distribution in a divorce. It does not matter if your spouse abandoned you, committed adultery on you, beat you, or any number of other heinous acts. Property distribution is completely separate from the reasons for the divorce. Custody and visitation are also completely separate issues, unless the behavior complained of in the grounds for the divorce directly impact on that parent's ability to parent the children.

Another point to bear in mind in deciding on grounds, is that your divorce is a public record. Any one can go to the courthouse and pull the file and read the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Most people would prefer not to have their privacy invaded to that extreme and by leaving the grounds as "irreconcilable differences" there are not any details for the neighbors to gossip about.