Divorce Law Getting a divorce in Illinois changed in many ways for 2016. Gone are some of the restrictions on
grounds for a divorce. Meanwhile other parts of the proceedings, particularly division of parental duties, have been made more complicated. All of these changes come under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

Changes in Grounds for Divorce

The old law, which hadn’t changed since 1977, listed ten different fault-based reasons that couples could divorce. Among these were:

  • Adultery
  • Mental anguish
  • Physical and mental cruelty
  • Drunkenness

Under the new law, Illinois is now a purely no-fault divorce state. While previously couples had to assign blame on one partner, now this is not needed. This should make the process quicker in this sense. It could also make divorce proceedings easier on divorcing couples and their divorce attorney.

Another big change for divorcing couples is the waiting period before they can divorce. In order to prove that their marriage could not be reconciled, a couple would have to live apart for greater than two years. Now that only stands at six months, so once a judge agrees that it is not in the couple’s best interest to stay married, the divorce can go forward.

More Protection for Children

Many times children want their parents to resolve their differences and stay together. Because of this and other factors, divorce can be traumatic for children. The new changes in the law try to take this into account, and make sure that children’s needs are met even more completely after a divorce.

Judges will now expect a full schedule of parenting in the form of a plan that is agreed upon by both parents.  This plan will address fifteen separate areas of concern. Everything from doctor visits to potty-training is covered by the new procedure. Another major change is the disappearance of the terms “custody” and “visitation.” The new method of assigning parental responsibility makes these terms outdated.

While divorce is a difficult and often uncomfortable process, the right divorce attorney can make a huge difference. With the new laws bringing the first real changes to divorce cases in nearly four decades, divorcing couples will have to be prepared. Although grounds for divorce are no longer as important in a divorce case, other areas of the law may hold unwelcome complications and surprises.