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Beginning January 1, 2016, changes to Illinois’ divorce law will take effect. The following provides a review of these changes, found under Senate Bill 57, and what you need to know if you are considering getting divorced in Illinois. For more clarification and legal representation, be sure to seek the counsel of a Downers Grove divorce attorney.

Changes to Grounds for Divorce

Under Illinois’ current divorce code, the grounds for seeking dissolution of marriage in the state include:

•      Mental cruelty;

•      Abandonment;

•      Impotence;

•      Adultery;

•      Alcohol or drug abuse;

•      Physical cruelty;

•      Felony conviction; and

•      Infection of the other spouse with a sexually transmitted disease.

However, new changes to the divorce code will strike the above language from the law; instead, only a no-fault divorce will be available. The new law will merely read that, “Irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage,” and that “efforts at reconciliation have failed.”

No Waiting Period in Uncontested Divorces

The current divorce law requires that couples live apart for a full two years before a divorce can be granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. The new law, however, states that if the parties live separately for a continuous period of six months or more, then the requirement of proof of irreconcilable differences has been satisfied. Furthermore, the law also reads that in the event that the divorce is uncontested, the divorce can proceed immediately. Section 413 (a) stipulates that a court must issue a judgment of dissolution of marriage within 60 days of the closing of proofs, or within 90 days if good reason for a 30-day extension is shown.

Amendments to How Child Support is Calculated

Section 505 of the law has also been amended. The law previously read that the court would review relevant factors when making a child support determination, including:

•      The financial resources and needs of the child;

•      The financial resources and needs of the custodial parent;

•      The child’s standard of living, physical, mental, and emotional needs; and

•      The financial resources and needs of the child’s noncustodial parent.

The law now reads, however, that the court will consider “the financial resources and needs of the parents, and has removed the line, “the financial resources and needs of the child’s noncustodial parent” from the code. According to an article in the Illinois Bar Journal, this change emphasizes the importance of a shared-income approach for child support determinations. Whereas judges were often encouraged to calculate payments based on the non-custodial parent’s income in the past, the revision supports consideration of the time that a non-custodial parent spends with a child, as well as the custodial parent’s income.

Meet with a Divorce Attorney to Learn More

The new laws can have a significant effect on those who are seeking divorce in Illinois. If you are considering a legal separation or divorce from your spouse, make sure you consult with the experienced Downers Grove divorce attorneys at Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. Our legal team will work hard to ensure that your best interests are considered. Serving people in the Naperville, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Lombard, Lisle, and Aurora areas, we are ready to take on your case today. For a divorce advocate you can trust, call us now at 630-961-0060.

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