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Illinois House bill would rewrite marriage, divorce, custody laws 2

We are reviewing the provisions included in a family law bill that is making its way through the Illinois General Assembly right now. The bill, HB 1452, is the product of four years of research by the Family Law Study Committee. The group met with child advocates, family law practitioners, family law judges and the public to weed out the outdated portions of current law and to craft new language that more accurately reflects how the courts and families operate now.

In our last post, we discussed the abolition of fault in divorce -- Illinois would have just one reason to dissolve a marriage, irreconcilable differences based on the marriage's irretrievable breakdown. We also discussed the court's 60-day timeline for issuing judgments.

A few important changes appear throughout the bill. First, the term "non-custodial parent" is replaced with "supporting parent." And, "visitation" is replaced with "parenting time" -- including in sections discussing grandparents' rights when both parents are deceased. The bill also rethinks some important family law matters.

Child support payments: The bill requires the income of both parents as well as parenting time to be considered when calculating child support payments. Currently, the non-custodial parent's income is the key determinant in the calculation of support payments. The new paradigm would take both parents' assets and income into account and would require courts to consider the amount of time each parent has with the child or children. Again, it's a formula that reflects how families work now: co-parenting and shared custody are much more common than they were 35 years ago.

The bill covers a lot of ground -- much more than we can cover here. In future posts, we will try to address other aspects of the bill, and we will follow the bill through the legislative process.

Sources:

KMOX/CBS Local, "Illinois House Considers Changes To Divorce Laws," April 15, 2013

Illinois Bar Journal, "Is a family-law overhaul on the way?" Adam W. Lasker, September 2012

We help couples and families with issues like custody and child support payments. You can learn more about our Libertyville practice here in Lake County, Illinois, at our website.

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