Can I Get a Divorce if We Still Live Together?

st. charles divorce lawyersMarried couples entangle their lives romantically, legally, and financially. Ending a marriage is not as simple as deciding you no longer want to be married. There are seemingly countless issues to contend with. For many people, one of the greatest impediments to getting divorced is their living situation. With record-high inflation and skyrocketing housing costs, many people are unable to afford to move out of a shared home. If you want a divorce but you and your spouse cannot afford separate homes, you may worry that this will hinder the divorce process.

Divorce Grounds in Illinois

Fortunately, spouses are not required to separate before they can get divorced in Illinois. Currently, there is only one ground, or legal justification, for divorce in Illinois: irreconcilable differences. Illinois eliminated fault-based grounds such as adultery and physical abuse in 2016. The requirement that spouses live apart before filing for divorce has also been eliminated.

Presently, spouses can seek an immediate divorce if they both agree that irreconcilable differences have led to the irreversible breakdown of the marriage. However, spouses do not always agree to a divorce. Suppose one spouse believes that the marriage is salvageable and disputes that there are irreconcilable differences. In that case, the way to prove that there are irreconcilable differences is to live separately for at least six months. If you want to get divorced but your spouse will not concede that there are irreconcilable differences, living separately for at least six months establishes the legal justification for the divorce.

You Can Live Separately in the Same Home

Financing two separate homes is not always possible. Fortunately, Illinois case law has established that spouses can live separately even under the same roof. For example, one spouse may stay in the guest bedroom while the other spouse keeps the marital bedroom. If the spouses are no longer having sexual relations or sharing their lives as a married couple, the court will generally consider this to be living “separate and apart” for the purposes of establishing irreconcilable differences.

Contact Our Kane County Divorce Lawyer for Help

The St. Charles divorce attorneys at MKFM Law can help you understand all of your divorce options. Sometimes, it is best to keep living in the marital home to maintain the status quo for child related issues or property division purposes. We will sit down with you and evaluate your situation, then provide the legal guidance and support you need.

Call our office today at 630-665-7300 and set up a confidential consultation.


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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree