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Real Change in Divorce and Child Custody Law on Governor's Desk

Why-couples-split-up-illu-009.jpgThe Illinois legislature has sent Governor Rauner a bill that will make massive changes in our current child custody law and other aspects of Illinois Divorce Law.

1. You won't be able to sue the homewrecker, that girlfriend or boyfriend you blame for leading your spouse astray and ruining your marriage. Previously you could sue them for money damages but no more if this bill is passed!

2. You won't be able to sue for divorce based on adultery, mental cruelty, substance abuse or even physical cruelty! Instead, your only grounds for divorce will be irreconcilable differences. You won't have to sign a waiver of the two year separation requirement. You won't even have had to live apart for six months if you agree that you are unable to reconcile.

3. Gone is the concept of "child custody" altogether. It will be replaced with allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities. The judge could decide for example or you could agree that mom, the doctor, should make the medical decisions regarding the children or that dad, the teacher, should make educational decision. You could also agree to share those responsibilities just as you do now when you have joint custody in your parenting plan.

4. Gone is the word "visitation". You will only be talking about "parenting time" which as before will have an impact on the level of child support. Parenting time will be how much you or your spouse spends with the children taking care of them and making day to decisions for them.

5. It would not be so hard to move to Indiana for example to be closer to family or work! If you live in Cook County or one of the surrounding counties, you can move anywhere within a 25 mile radius without leave of court. That includes across state lines! Of course you would still need to address whether the allocation of parenting time must change as a result.

I have been watching the progress of this bill while participating on a task force with the Chicago Bar Association which has carefully examined these proposals.

We will see if it becomes law.

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