Amended Divorce Laws Become Effective January 1st, 2016

Amended Divorce Laws Become Effective January 1st, 2016

January 1, 2016 will be a significant day in Illinois as changes to the state’s divorce law will go into effect. These will impact everything from the grounds a person can use to file for divorce, all the way to the financial responsibilities of parents attending to their children’s educations.

Changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) have eliminated all fault-based causes of divorce. This means that regardless of adultery, desertion, felony conviction, transmission of an STD will no longer be considered grounds for divorce. As of January 1st, all divorces will be considered no-fault regardless of the reason an individual has chosen to file.

According to Buffalo Grove divorce attorney Roger W. Stelk, “This change to the law comes with one string attached; parties must prove that there is an irreconcilable breakdown in the marriage. This requires either showing that attempts at reconciliation have failed or would be impracticable.”

Additional changes include reducing the waiting period for filing for divorce. Couples can now divorce after having lived separate and apart for six months as opposed to the two years under the previous law. This change in the law will make it easier for couples to split and go their separate ways with considerably less disruption to their lives. This will have a positive benefit on both emotional and post-divorce fiscal recovery.

“Of significant interest to parents are the changes to custody and family related matters,” commented Buffalo Grove divorce attorney Roger W. Stelk. “It has been renamed Allocation of Parental Responsibilities and there are many changes within this chapter designed to reduce the stigma and emotional impact, as well as to clarify the financial responsibilities and obligations of the divorcing parents.”

With significant changes on the horizon, individuals planning to divorce after January 1st should contact an attorney to help them navigate what will be a considerably different legal landscape.

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