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Can an Illinois Divorce Court Order Me to Attempt Reconciliation?

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County divorce attorneyGetting a divorce is not a decision to take lightly, and in many cases, it is a good idea to try to work out your differences with your spouse, possibly with the assistance of couple’s counseling or therapy, before resorting to ending your marriage. However, you may find that despite your best efforts to save the relationship, divorce is still your preferred solution.

At this point, you may have the question: Is there anything my spouse or the court can do to stop the divorce from moving forward? Fortunately, the short answer is no, but in some cases, you could find yourself having to go through additional steps to demonstrate that ending the marriage is the best option, including attending a court-ordered conciliation conference.

Understanding the Grounds for Divorce in Illinois

Since 2016, Illinois divorce courts no longer take fault into consideration in a divorce resolution. Instead, the only legally recognized grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences. In transitioning to a “no-fault” divorce state, Illinois has recognized that couples may have any number of personal reasons for wanting to end their marriage. Irreconcilable differences are much easier to demonstrate than other possible grounds for divorce in the past. However, before granting a divorce, the court still may want to ensure that the couple has made all reasonable efforts to reconcile.

What Happens at a Conciliation Conference?

If the court believes that reconciliation is possible after a spouse files for divorce, it may order the couple to attempt conciliation through a conference. Either spouse can also ask the court to order a conciliation conference. However, if you believe that attempts at conciliation would be inappropriate, perhaps in a case involving abuse or manipulation in which meeting with your spouse could cause you harm, you can make your case to the court that a conciliation conference should not be ordered.

If a conciliation conference is ordered, it will be handled through a counseling service chosen by the court. Usually, the spouses will attend the conference without their attorneys, as the sole purpose is for the couple to determine whether their marriage can be salvaged. As such, nothing from the conference becomes admissible evidence in subsequent divorce proceedings, nor is it included in the public record of the divorce case.

If the conference results in a successful reconciliation, the spouses may ask for the divorce case to be dismissed. On the other hand, if conciliation fails, this may be sufficient evidence to the court that the divorce should move forward, even if one spouse continues to object.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Divorce Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC, we have more than 50 years of family law experience, and we understand all of the different complications that may arise in the divorce process. When you need legal guidance and representation, we will do everything in our power to ensure that your rights and interests are protected. For a free consultation, contact our Kane County divorce attorneys at 847-428-7725 today.

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3700000&SeqEnd=5200000

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