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.
- 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.