Changes Would Impact Family Law in Illinois

CC image Wikipedia.orgThis post was written by Sean Sullivan, head of the Family Law department at Appelman & Associates. Sean is committed to providing his clients with the best representation in a variety of civil matters. For more information about Sean, check out his bio or give him a call at (630) 717-7801.

House Bill 1452 is up for consideration in Springfield in this fall’s veto session. It is the culmination of decades-long suggestions by practicing family law attorneys to enact changes to Illinois Law to reflect the changing culture of today’s families. If this bill passes, there are several significant points of law that will greatly impact the practice of family law going forward, including:

  • Grounds for Divorce – This is one of the most significant changes that this bill encompasses. No longer would there be any grounds for divorce other than irreconcilable differences. Gone are the days when one party could gain an upper hand against the other by alleging their spouse is at “fault” for causing the divorce through infidelity or by inflicting mental cruelty. Currently, irreconcilable differences is really the only reason cited when filing for dissolution of marriage – this bill would simply incorporate a law that has, for the most part, already been enacted.
  • Custody or Visitation – These terms would be thrown out the window and replaced by the term “parental responsibilities.” This is simply a change in terminology. The concept of custody and visitation will remain the same.
  • Presumption of Residential Parenting Time – Unless proven otherwise, as a matter of law, both parents will be allocated no less than a 35% split in parenting time.
  • Parenting Plan – Divorcing spouses with children will now be required to file with the court a copy of a parenting plan within 90 days of filing for a divorce. This is a huge change from the current state of affairs in which joint parenting agreements are always required to be filed, but not within any specific timed deadline. This will force divorcing spouses and their lawyers to work together quicker to resolve parenting issues.

These are only some of the major changes being proposed by House Bill 1452. This list only highlights the issues that would impact the majority of typical divorce cases we handle at Appelman and Associates LLC. There are still many other changes that are being proposed that may apply to your divorce case.

Family law is growing more complex than ever, and the law may be changing. If you are contemplating a divorce or need help with child custody issues, you should consult us so that we can help you navigate through your divorce.