Changes in Illinois Divorce Law

Divorce. Man and woman divide house. Vector illustration

On January 1, 2016, many new changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act as well as the Parentage Act will be put in place. Senate Bill 57 and House Bill 1531 will greatly alter the divorce process in the state as it relates to custody, property, and perhaps most importantly, an individual’s grounds for divorce, among other items.

Couples who are in agreement about divorce can now proceed immediately without the 6 month waiting period. Divorcing couples who don’t agree to a six month waiting period, no longer have a 2 year wait for divorce.

Child Custody:

  • The emphasis will be on parental responsibility. The word custody will be eliminated from the statute.
  • While parents can still agree to share decisions, the court or the parties can agree that the responsibility for specific decisions will be granted to the parent who makes those decisions.


  • Custodial parents in the following counties can relocate up to 25 miles without court approval: Cook, Du Page, Lake, Kane, McHenry and Will.
  • Those in other counties may move up to 50 miles away without court permission.
  • Any move of 25 miles or less can be across the state line without leave of the court; Illinois courts retain jurisdiction over custody issues.
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About MickiMoran

Micki Moran is the founding partner of The Child and Family Law Center, Ltd. She dedicates her practice to providing legal assistance to children and families who are in need of representation in the areas of special education, disability law, juvenile and young adult criminal law, abuse and neglect, guardianship and mental health issues. Micki's practice is founded on the principle that children and their families require and deserve excellent legal representation with a multidisciplinary approach that works with multiple systems of care and creates communities that support and improve the quality of all peoples' lives.
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