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I am not contesting the divorce petition by my wife. should I agree to ALL grounds or just 1 ground on my Answer. IL. Cook Cnty

Chicago, IL |

The petition grounds includes , mental cruelty, irreconcilable diff and adultery. I had a short affair during my marriage. Is it mandatory to agree to all grounds to move forward ? I will also waive the 2 yr req of separation).

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It is mandatory to tell the truth. It is not mandatory to agree to something that is legally unfounded or for which she has no evidence. If irreconcilable differences are admitted, that is sufficient...[of course this ground requires that you had engaged in efforts to save the marriage and future efforts at reconciliation be futile and in the best interest of family]. This ground is easy to establish and serves its purpose in 90% of divorces. The fact that your wife has added the other grounds is likely to be caused by her suspicion that you will assert marriage is reconcilable. Additionally, adultery/mental cruelty paints you in a bad light and is helpful to asserting dissipation.

Here's the part that is often missed, however.

Adultery is almost an obsolete ground for divorce and is seldom used. It is extremely difficult to prove--you wife would need to submit EVIDENCE that you had committed an overtly sexual act during the marriage [called the "carnal act"]. It is not enough that you had an intimate relationship with another woman.

Mental cruelty and irreconcilable differences have displaced most other grounds. Keep in mind, as a matter of law, in order for mental cruelty to be a ground for divorce, it MUST BE COMMITTED WITHOUT ANY PROVOKING FORCE. I see that you are in the first circuit--the case law that has interpreted mental cruelty ground to impose upon your wife the burden of proving that the particular acts complained of constituted MENTAL CRUELTY.

She is throwing all these grounds at you, in my view, because she fears you will not waive the 2yr rq of separation necessary for irreconcilable differences divorce.

The best strategy for you is to file a BILL OF PARTICULARS with respect to the "alleged adultery and mental cruelty." That way, you are in a position to know exactly what facts she has [or does not have] to establish the grounds.

Consult an attorney and best of luck to you in your case.

The author provides the preceding information as a service to the public. Author's response, as stated above, should not be considered legal advice. An initial attorney-client conference, based upon review of all relevant facts/documents, will be necessary to provide legal advice upon which the client should then rely.


If you are agreeing then go ahead and agree. She will not be able to get any more of the marital estate due to your violative behavior. If you are unsure of what you are doing go ahead and seek the good counsel of a local divorce attorney. The length of the affair is totally irrelevant to the fact that you violated your marriages vows and you admit to it. I think yu have asked other questions on here and we have all told you to get a lawyer.

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If you found this Answer to be helpful, please mark it as such. Remember, however, this is only generalized commentary on your question. It is not to be taken as legal advice. Even "in person" interviews leave attorneys with plenty of questions – the Internet makes it crazy. Thank you Chuck Watson 217.544.6165


You should not admit to all grounds. If she and her attorney actually want an uncontested divorce they should agree to proceed on marital breakdown/irreconcilable differences and focus on the marital setttlment and any custody/visitation issues. As I am often in Court call my assistant Dan London at 312-807-3990 to set up a private telephone consultation. At the consultation we can discuss the confidential details we need to craft a strategic plan. These details should not be broadcast over the Internet.

This is a general answer and does not address the specifics of your individual case. To give the specific answer you need our firm needs you to come in for a consultation.


You do not have to agree to all the allegations to not contest the divorce. Admit what is true, Deny what is not. Hire a lawyer.

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