For many families and married couples in Illinois, the idea of getting divorced may go against their personal philosophy, religion or way of life. The wish to work things out for the sake of the children, family, community and society is commendable. However, there are times when a spouse must reach deep within and find sufficient strength to seek a dissolution of marriage.

The first situation that merits a legal separation and subsequent divorce decree is abuse. If a spouse is being abusive to his or her partner or the children, the couple should not stay together, and the abuser should be kept away from the victims. When there is a documented pattern of domestic abuse, the need for divorce becomes even more pressing.

The second situation involves substance abuse. This is difficult because many addicts are able to be good partners and parents if they have figured out how to hide their problem. However, when illicit substances start to wreak havoc in their lives, spouses should think seriously about getting divorced.

The third situation is when the marriage has become emotionally dysfunctional even though it appears to be working from a practical point of view. When spouses hate each other to the point of deriving pleasure in being hurtful, the Illinois Compiled Statutes permit the end of a marriage when it is deemed to be irretrievably broken.

The divorce process is not easy. There may be visitation plans to sort out, child support to arrange and even parental relocation issues to deal with. All these complications cannot compare to the anguish that spouses and families must put up with when the three aforementioned situations descend upon their lives.