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Hi I have been married 19 years and my husband wants a divorce we live in IL what are the laws to maintenence

Peoria, IL |

my husband promised and promised before moving out that he was going to work on the marriage after he left the house. He then has changed his mind and doesnt want to work on it is thier anything legally I can do to make him see a mediator or counscellor before the divorce I know we had some problems but they arent that bad as to not be able to be fixed with a little work from both sides. I love my husband I miss him and I think he is having a hard time with some issues in his life hes never been one to let go easily and thinks that erasing people is the sollution. He doesnt talk to his father for something that happened a very long time ago and I just want things worked out. I truely do miss him and love him very much but the things he says to me now are horrible and he doesnt sound right

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Attorney answers 5


It sounds like you have a lot of questions and should probably see a lawyer in person to address them all. There are small details that we cannot get into on the website that should be considered. To answer your specific questions, the Illinois law regarding maintenance is 750 ILCS 5/504. Your husband will not be ordered to counseling, however you both could be ordered to Mediation (especially if there are kids- which you do not mention). See a local family law attorney in person. Good luck.

This response shall not be construed as specific legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship or privilege. Further, this response is not intended to solicit legal fees.


Unfortunately, the reality is that if one spouse really wants a divorce, it is inevitable. You cannot force someone to stay in a marriage or to go to counseling. For your own happiness, if you husband will not go to family counseling, please consider going to counseing yourself. You might also wish to consult with one or more attorney so in the event you are served with papers, you will be prepared.


Illinois law allows the court to order the parties to a conciliation conference. Even though it's in the law, most judges wont' do it. Still, you'll probably be better off filing a case and getting the authority of the court on your side -- taking action -- rather than waiting and hoping that things get better with him all on their own.

How to Use Divorce to Save your Marriage

It seems perfectly illogical, but our experience demonstrates that filing a divorce case – or being served papers – can often be the catalyst that sparks renewed interest in reconciling the differences that have brought a couple to precipice of divorce. This article addresses how a divorce can be used as leverage in efforts to save the marriage.

For Starters: First, recognize that you probably have many years, or decades, invested with your partner. If your marriage is at the point where you’re talking with a divorce attorney, you’re looking at a fairly difficult road to reconciliation. Still, you’ve probably been down difficult roads before. Reconciliation is not impossible. Of our clients, only about 5% try reconciliation once the case is filed. That’s the bad news. The good news is that of those who try, about half succeed and stay married.

File First: Probably the best thing you can do to manage your situation is to file a divorce case. Doing so gives you several advantages. First, you will force your spouse to either commit to the marriage (you’ll agree to put the divorce case on hold) or to commit to divorce. Whichever way your spouse responds, at least you won’t be stuck in limbo – you’ll know that you can either work together with renewed vigor toward saving your relationship, or that your spouse gave up on the marriage long ago and that for you to wait and hope any longer would only be for naught. At least you’ll know where you stand.

If you decide to seek reconciliation, your case can probably be put on hold by the court. For example, the courts of Cook County will hold a case for up to two years (sometimes longer) while a couple seeks reconciliation.

As the Petioner, you’ll also have the right to ask the judge to send you and your spouse to counseling (or at least a conciliation conference)

Even if your case doesn’t reconcile, you don’t have to follow through with your divorce case. Because you filed first, it’s “your” case. You can dismiss it anytime you want simply by informing the court that you have decided against going forward with a divorce (you may have to reimburse any filing fees your spouse has incurred, but these are usually no more than a few hundred dollars).

Finally, even if your marriage doesn’t reconcile, and you end up having to go through a divorce, you will have all the Advantages of filing first .

If You Don’t File First, Demand Specifics: Illinois’ law doesn’t require specifics in divorce pleadings. That allows couples to file a divorce case without having to air their dirty laundry in public. So, a spouse who wants out of a marriage only has to file papers that say “irreconcilable differences” or “mental cruelty.” That’s it. Simple words make for a simple way out.

We have found it to be an effective strategy to demand that the filing spouse list, with specificity, all of the allegations on which their case relies. For example, if your spouse claims “irreconcilable differences, what are those differences? How does your spouse know that they are truly irreconcilable? Has reconciliation been attempted? If so, how does your spouse know that future attempts at reconciliation would fail? You can demand answers to all of those questions. If you do, your spouse must give you answers within 28 days. If the answers aren’t presented, the case should be dismissed. When we’ve exercised this tactic, most of the time the filing spouse doesn’t have any good answers. Almost always they simply let the deadline pass and the case is dismissed. That’s right: almost always.

Questions? Call, toll-free: 312-987-6723 -- no charge.

Stephen Samuel Messutta

Stephen Samuel Messutta


I agree and believe this is the most comprehensive explanation of both the process as well as the fact that if, in the end, the husband wants the divorce, the conciliation will just confirm it but will have at least given the wife some option.


Unfortunately, generally you do not have the power to force him to mediation for reconciliation.
Unless he has grounds for dissolution (divorce) other than irreconcilable differences, however, you
can delay the divorce until two (2) years after your separation.

It is extremely difficult to be the spouse who wants to save the marriage when you partner does not. Please take care of yourself and get counseling by yourself, for yourself.


The reality is that you cannot force someone to stay married to you if he does not want to be married anymore. I STRONGLY suggest you seek personal counseling with dealing with the lose and grief involved with ending a marriage. Why would you want to say maried to soomeone who does not treat you well and says horrible things to you anyway? You also need to consult with a divorce lawyer ASAP. As to maintenance that issue will be discussed with your divorce lawyer.

IF YOU FOUND THIS ANSWER "Helpful" or " The Best Answer" YOU CAN THANK ATTORNEY RADDATZ BY MARKING IT SO because Avvo awards the attorney points. MS. RADDATZ is donating her time and talent by answering questions to help those in need of legal information. This is NOT a consultation and in no way creates an attorney-client relationship. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS PERSONALLY CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY IN YOUR LOCAL AREA who has specific expertise in the area of law you are asking about.

Peggy M. Raddatz

Peggy M. Raddatz


*stay, married, someone

Peggy M. Raddatz

Peggy M. Raddatz



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