If you are considering divorce and are seeking information, check out this guest post, written by family law attorney, Anna Krolikowska on behalf of The Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois. The post discusses how the new Illinois divorce laws (which went into effect in January of 2016) might have an affect on the outcome of your divorce.In other words, what you’ve always heard about divorce might have just changed.
2016 Brought A New Divorce Statute in Illinois: 3 Major Considerations When Considering Divorce
By Anna Krolikowska, a Family Law Attorney in Private Practice On Behalf of The Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois
Perhaps you, or someone you deeply care about is considering, or is already going through a divorce. Regardless of why you find yourself seeking information about the divorce process, it is important to note that 2016 brought a lot of changes to the divorce process in Illinois. Three big changes have big impact on the divorce process in Illinois.
1. Illinois now recognizes only one legal reason, also known as grounds, for a divorce: irreconcilable differences resulting in a breakdown of the marriage. Moreover, we now have a presumption that if a divorcing couple has lived separate and apart for 6 months immediately prior to the divorce, they have experienced a breakdown of the marriage caused by irreconcilable differences. That means that in divorces cases courts will no longer consider allegations of physical or mental cruelty, adultery, or addiction as to cause of the breakdown of the marriage, and there will be no determination as to who was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage.
2. For couples with children it is important to note that Illinois will no longer award custody in divorce matters. Rather parents will be granted parental responsibility for making significant life decisions for their children, like education, religious training and medical care, as well as parenting time, and daily caretaking functions. As a side note, any future modifications of previously entered custody judgment will be reviewed and potentially modified to incorporate the parental responsibility sections of the revised Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.
3. For those who will potentially either pay or receive spousal support it is important to note that for couples whose combined incomes are less than $250,000 gross total, in the event the Court determines that maintenance–also known as spousal support is appropriate, unless it finds that a deviation is appropriate, the Court will apply a statutory formula as to both the length of time, and the amount of maintenance payments.
If you are considering a divorce you might wish to obtain more information about the recent developments within the Illinois law, as well as consider using alternative dispute resolution methods, like mediation or collaborative process. The Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois is an excellent resource.