But a new court ruling is giving them the freedom. The Illinois Supreme Court says if a person has a severe mental illness, the person's guardian now has the authority to decide to end the marriage.
Disability advocates are calling the ruling a big win. Guardians are responsible for making decisions on behalf of a disabled person. Under old state law, a guardian could not seek a divorce from the person's spouse. The court says the practice was "unfair" and not in the disabled person's best interest.
Advocates say any person, disability or not, should have the right to divorce his or her partner. They say the ruling is a step in the right direction. The court still has to hear the divorce to make sure it's in the person's best interest.