Answers To Common Questions Concerning Illinois's New Divorce Laws

You may have heard that Illinois has recently made changes to some of the laws regarding divorce in the state. I wanted to take a few moments to discuss some of the most important matters that you need to be aware of if you are contemplating filing for divorce.

What are the major changes under this new law?

The changes that will impact the most people concern child custody. The law eliminates the terms "child custody" and "visitation." Replacing custody will be the allocation of parental responsibilities, while parenting time replaces visitation.

Parents will be directed to focus on the role that each will play in decision-making for their child or children to determine the appropriate allocation of parental responsibilities. Major decisions, such as education, health care, religion and extracurricular activities can be shared by both parents or made by one, depending upon what the parents and the court feels is in the best interests of the child.

The law requires that the parties file a parenting time plan with the courts as well while going through the divorce. This is done in the hopes that the parents will be able to find an arrangement that keeps the best interests of the children at the forefront of their discussions. However, if the parents are unable to reach an agreement, the court will determine a parenting time schedule that is believed to be best for the kids. This may involve appointing an attorney qualified to represent the children and other professionals so the court can get a thorough view to decide what's in the best interests for the children.

There are additional changes to laws regarding many other important issues that may arise during your divorce. You should talk to an experienced family law attorney before you make any decisions regarding the expense and your future.

What does this mean for you?

The new law attempts to reduce some of the conflict that arises during a divorce. Many divorces quickly spiral into battles where neither side is unwilling to give an inch. These changes are designed to get couples to discuss the actual issues that have to be addressed during the divorce process.

If you are considering a divorce, know that there are still extremely important issues that you will need to address as soon as possible. If you delay or enter into any agreements before consulting with a lawyer, you could be causing yourself significant harm, and you might not have any opportunity to revisit these agreements later.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

I know that you have questions about these changes, and what they mean for your future. I am happy to help you understand what all of this means for you and your situation. Please call my Waukegan office at 847-693-7371 or send me an email to schedule your free consultation with me.