What to Know About the Changes to Illinois Divorce Law

by | Jun 12, 2018 | Law

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On January 1, 2016, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act had a number of changes occur. These changes led to differences in which divorce and other family law cases are handled legally. It’s important to understand that these changes were put in place based on changes in families and society over time. However, for those who are not a Streamwood divorce lawyer, it’s still important to understand the basics.

Before modification of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, there were many different grounds for which divorce could be filed. These grounds are listed below:

  • Bigamy
  • Adultery
  • Impotence
  • Threat to life
  • Willful desertion
  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Mental or physical cruelty
  • Conviction for a felony or other crime
  • Infecting the spouse with an STD or STI
  • Drunkenness on a habitual basis of at least two years
  • At least two years of habits involving addictive substances

The change in law now makes all divorced based on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. Illinois was already a no-fault state, and had been for some time, but the new rules require that each party states irreconcilable differences were the cause of the breakdown of their marriage. They must also show that any attempts to reconcile have failed or would be impractical and cause further breakdown to the marriage.

Previously, the waiting period for getting a divorce was two years and this has dropped down to six months. It is also important to note that the couple may have been residing in the same home, but would still be considered separated if they lived their lives as single adults. This might include separate bedrooms, finances, etc.

Before the changes, a custodial parent was known as the person who had primary custody of any children, while the other parent was known as non-custodial and had visitation rights. Now, the terms ‘child custody’ and ‘visitation’ have been changed to ‘allocation of parenting time and responsibility.’ This responsibility is composed of education, medical, religious, and extracurricular. These responsibilities will now be split, with decisions made on who oversees each category during the divorce process.

Finally, relocation has been changed in the new law. Divorced parents previously were able to move anywhere in the state without seeking a court order, while out of state moves required court approval. Now, any move of a distance farther than 25 miles will require court approval.

If you want to know more about how these new laws will affect your own divorce case, contact Casement Group, P.C. at for a free consultation with an experienced Streamwood divorce lawyer.

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