Answer: No. You can file even if you haven’t been separated for one minute. Illinois law does not require you to be separated before you can file for divorce. This is true no matter which of the eleven grounds is used.
If you opt to proceed on the ground of irreconcilable differences (no fault), you must establish that you have been separated for a certain length of time, but you don’t have to accrue all or any of the separation time before filing. You can accumulate the required time after you file and while you are waiting in the court system. The law allows you to count all continuous separation time up to the time of your trial whether it occurred before or after filing.
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Richard and Kari are staunch advocates of the non-court approach to divorce, and are also active and seasoned litigators with over 60 years of combined trial experience in the Illinois divorce courts of Cook, DuPage, and Will counties.