Don’t Overcomplicate Your Divorce Case, Hire A Chicago Divorce Lawyer

Chicago divorce lawyer helping a couple

Divorce can be a complicated thing.  Especially if you’re Christo Lassiter and Sharlene Boltz, divorced couple from Cincinnati, Ohio.  Not only have this couple been feuding over court hearings and paperwork for the last 20 years, they’re law professors!

According to Above The Law, 56 year old Christo is a professor of law and criminal justice at the University of Cincinnati and got his BA from University of Chicago.  Sharlene, 52, is a law professor at Northern Kentucky University with a BA from Brown.  Despite all of their experience and knowledge of the court system and law, the two educators have been in and out of courts for the last decade without showing any signs of wanting to mend their disputes in a professional or friendly manner.

Together the two of them have racked up more than 1,400 docket entries which are the official summaries of court proceedings (the norm is usually about 1,000 less than this).  Both parties have accused both the opposition and the court system itself for giving into irrational demands and manipulation without considering the peaceful option of coming to a sound agreement.

The ex-couple’s children are now 17 and 20.  Imagine growing up during this outrageous turmoil.

Choosing A Chicago Divorce Lawyer

Although this situation is a little out-of-the-ordinary (to say the least), it does show how Chicago divorce lawyer cases can get out of hand.  Granted most divorce cases won’t take years but if you’re dealing with one you’ll want to minimize the amount of excess stress and complication as much as possible.

Hiring a divorce lawyer in Chicago is a great way to limit the amount of disorganization and headache.  Among other things, the biggest reasons a divorce case can be come overly complicated are:

Chicago divorce lawyers definition


If you have children together (especially if they’re young) your court time can be extended three fold.  A divorce case can become a child custody or support case.  Make sure your lawyer is aware of your children’s status so they can help you from the beginning.


Assets are the material items that you own.  These can become tricky if you split ownership.  Things like houses and cars can be difficult to manage.  Informing your Chicago divorce lawyer of all the possible assets you own or manage will help tremendously in making your case go a lot smoother.

Health Issues

The health of your spouse (or yourself) is rarer than the other complications but can play a serious role.  Some form of financial support might be entitled to the spouse or you may need extra care yourself.  Make your divorce lawyer aware of any situation like this so they can help you prepare the proper support.

What Are The Reasonable Grounds For Divorce?

divorce lawyers in chicago ilIn the United States, every state has its own set of rules regarding divorce and what constitutes as ‘reasonable grounds’ for one. Nowadays, there are basically two different types of divorces available to couples who believe that ending their marriage is the only option left. The two available options are ‘fault’ and ‘no fault’ divorces. In this article, we are going to talk about the differences in these two types of divorces, and about what constitutes as reasonable grounds for divorce in each case.  As divorce lawyers in Chicago, the office of Touloupakis Aguirre specializes in Illinois divorce law, of course, one needs to keep in mind that every state is different, so specific details (such as time frames for separation) may vary from state to state.

In this article, we are going to stick to the ‘basics’, and give you some general guidelines that will translate to real, useable information on what constitutes as ‘reasonable grounds for divorce’ regardless of what state you are in.

No-Fault Divorce

Every state in the United States now allows for a ‘no fault’ divorce option. A no fault divorce would describe a marriage in which the couple decides mutually that they no longer feel that it would be worth it to try and patch things up. This type of divorce is easy to obtain, is less expensive, and doesn’t place guilt on any particular member of the marriage. Of course, different states have different requirements that must be met before a divorce will be awarded, but the following is a list of reasonable grounds that are most commonly used as reasons for no-fault divorces.

Legal Separation

If a couple has been living apart for enough time to satisfy the state law requirements for a no-fault divorce, than separation may be used as reasonable grounds for divorce. Some states require that the couple be separated for months, while in others, the couple will need to prove that they have not co-inhabitated for up to five years before a divorce will be granted.

Irretrievable Breakdown (Also known as ‘Irreconcilable Differences’)

Every state now allows for couples who simply decide that they no longer wish to be together (for basically any reason) to file for a no-fault divorce using Irretrievable Breakdown as reasonable grounds. This is basically translated as a ‘breakdown’ in the marriage that was not caused by either partner, but that both agree makes the marriage unworkable. In order to file for a divorce under these grounds, the couple is simply required to put together an affidavit stating that their marriage is ‘irreparably broken’ and sign it while under oath.

most common reasons for divorce

Fault Divorce

A fault divorce is basically a divorce that is awarded when one partner meets the burden of proof to show that the other partner did something wrong, thereby justifying divorce based on the wrong-doing of the spouse at fault. Fault divorces are much less common nowadays than they used to be, mostly due to the widespread state acceptance of no-fault divorces. They do, however, have a place in the court system, especially for partners who are divorcing their spouse for some type of abuse that may merit a conviction, and even more especially in a case where children are involved.

Of course, state regulations for what will pass as reasonable grounds for a fault divorce vary from state to state, but here is some general information that summarizes the most common grounds for such a separation.


Adultery has basically occurred when one person is unfaithful to the other in terms of sexual fidelity. In order for adultery to be grounds for divorce, proof must be submitted that the spouse in question actually committed the acts that they were accused of.


Cruelty can basically be described as any sort of calculated and/or deliberate abuse, pain, or suffering that is inflicted on one spouse by the other over a prolonged period of time within the marital relationship. Physical attacks, displays of rage, violent/threatening behavior, screaming, public displays of anger, and false accusations are all examples of behavior that could constitute as ‘cruelty’ where divorce proceedings are concerned. Of course, the burden of proof must be met before a divorce can be granted on these grounds.

Abandonment (Also known as Desertion or Parental Alienation)

Abandonment is basically the act of leaving the household and not returning. In essence, this can become a reasonable cause for divorce when one partner has been effectively ‘deserted’ by the other. Leaving the household without permission, even for military deployments and other extended engagements, does not constitute abandonment. Likewise, a spouse leaving to escape abuse or neglect would not be at fault for it either. Abandonment is more technically an unmerited, unprovoked absence of any kind that, by all intents and purposes, seems to be permanent.

Mental Illness

Incurable mental illness can be reasonable grounds for divorce, as long as the burden of proof is met and that there is sufficient evidence to show that whatever psychological disorder is in place makes marriage effectively impossible. The mental illness must also be incurable in order to be considered reasonable grounds for divorce.

Criminal Conviction

If one of the partners has been convicted of a crime or sentenced to jail time, than reasonable grounds for a divorce may be met as long as the spouse seeking the divorce can prove that the other was convicted of some type of legal offence. In a lot of states, it is required that the offending spouse be serving time in prison before criminal conviction can be considered reasonable grounds for divorce.


Nowadays, finding reasonable grounds for divorce can be as easy as two people agreeing that their marriage is ‘broken beyond repair’ due to breakdowns in communication, incompatibility, or any number of other reasons. No-fault marriages of this kind are definitely becoming more common for several reasons. For one, they offer more privacy. Secondly, they are considered to be easier on the rest of the family, mostly because blame is not being placed on another in the public medium of a courtroom. Of course, regulations vary by state, though all states have at least some form of allowance for a no fault divorce, meaning that finding reasonable grounds for divorce has actually become incredibly simple, inexpensive (when compared to fault divorce), and by most counts, less emotionally traumatic for all involved.