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Three Ways Recent Law Changes in Illinois State Have Changed How Couples Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

illinois divorce law changes, kane county divorce attorneysIf you are an Illinois resident currently in the midst of the divorce process, you may have concerns about recent changes in divorce law that passed in 2016 and how they might affect you and your family once your divorce is final. The good news is that a majority of these changes were put into motion to ease common divorce tensions, with the goal to reduce conflict and simplify the process as a whole. While there will always be some level of conflict where divorce is concerned, revisions to our state’s laws serve to streamline the experience for each party involved.

Here are a few ways recent law changes have changed how couples divorce, but for the better:

1. Revisions to Grounds for Divorce

Spouses seeking divorce were once able to cite grounds for the dissolution of marriage, such as adultery, mental anguish, or impotence, but that is no longer the case. Now the law only allows one ground for divorce, and that is irreconcilable differences. The goal is to reduce conflict that usually results from one party accusing the other of a certain act. For example, previous grounds could include habitual drunkenness - a valid claim, of course, but one that could be heavily disputed and add further fuel to the fire.

2. Waiting Period Requirement 

Previous law stated that spouses wishing to divorce based on irreconcilable differences had to prove to the court they lived separate and apart for two years prior to filing, while those wishing to divorce on any other grounds were not required to adhere to any waiting period. New law dictates that all couples now only need to live separate and apart for a period of six months. This can come in handy for couples who do not want to drag out the divorce any longer than necessary and desire to resolve the split sooner, rather than later.

3. Relocation Rights 

If you and your spouse share children and you are the primary residential parent (custodial parent) after the divorce, you now have the ability to move with your children from your existing residence, as long as you relocate within a 25 mile radius. This means certain counties within the state of Illinois may qualify as out-of-state moves, as they are technically over the state line, which once required a court order to be legally permissible.

Other noteworthy revisions to the state’s divorce laws include changes to the terms “custody” and “visitation,” and the meaning behind them. For example, where parents were originally awarded full or joint custody of their child and were responsible for making decisions based on their best interest, parenting arrangements are now referred to as the “allocation of parental responsibilities,” Both parents submit a parenting plan that must be agreed upon, which covers everything from living arrangements and parenting time.

If you are undergoing separation and need to better understand how the latest state divorce law changes will impact your family’s situation, speak with a knowledgeable Kane County divorce lawyer who can help address all your concerns and represent you properly in a court of law. Call the Goostree Law Group at 630-584-4800 for a free consultation today.


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