New Bill Shakes Up Illinois Divorce Law

A new bill currently in limbo in the Illinois state legislature will significantly change some of the state’s divorce laws, according to CBS St. Louis. “It’s been more than 35 years since Illinois’ current divorce and child custody laws were created,” reports CBS, and the state’s bipartisan Family Law Study Committee has “spent the last four years hearing from child advocates, judges, family law experts and the public” to rewrite the proposed laws to better serve Illinois families. The main thrust of the changes can be see in the amendments to the Alienation of Affections Act, the Breach of Promise Act, and the Criminal Conversation Act. Ultimately, these changes, according to CBS, include (but are not limited to):

  • no more establishing “grounds” for divorce
  • judgments will be issued in 60 days
  • the spouse’s lover can no longer be sued for causing marriage or engagement breakdown
  • child support based on both parents’ income
  • child support also based on how much time child spends with each parent
  • allows for child to spend at least 35% of time with each parent (allows for long weekends etc.)
  • allows for decision-making rights for non-custodial parent

The bill itself is slated to come before the legislature again when session resumes. In short, the bill allows for much more leniency in divorce or custody proceedings, and instead of drawing hard lines that may not apply in all cases, the bill allows for a bit more negotiation. This is especially true with the Heart Balm clause, which abolishes the ability to sue for alienation of affections or breach of promise to marry. That is, you can no longer be “prosecuted” for falling out of love or going back on an engagement.

If you or someone you know is facing divorce or just want more information about your options, don’t go through it alone. Contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney today.