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Court opens divorce 
for mentally disabled

Published: Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court opened the door Thursday to divorce for people who need guardians because of mental disabilities.

For years, Illinois has barred guardians from seeking a divorce on behalf of the mentally disabled people under their protection. That meant the disabled person could not get a divorce unless his or her spouse started the process.

The ban affected people with severe brain damage, but it also covered those who could make their wishes known – people with Alzheimer’s, for instance, or with a mental illness whose effects come and go, according to the advocacy group Equip for Equality.

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