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Changes in Illinois divorce legislation

2016 has seen some interesting changes to Illinois divorce legislation. Many of the changes may at first seem to be simple adjustments in wording, but the intention of the legislation is primarily to provide greater dignity to many parties involved in the divorce process.

Illinois determined this year that in legal settings pertaining to divorce proceedings, terms such as "custody" and "visitation" are no longer used. While some see this change as essentially meaningless, the courts have moved toward using more familial terms with less negative associations, opting to replace them with "allocation of parental duties" and "parenting time." In part, this is seen as a step toward greater recognition of the parental responsibilities and privileges.

This year also saw changes to grounds for divorce in Illinois and the required waiting period to obtain divorce. New legislation has done away with all individual grounds for divorce, opting instead to house all grounds under the umbrella of "irreconcilable differences." This is seen as a move to help keep proceedings more civil overall. Waiting periods have also been adjusted, now only requiring that Illinois couples live apart for six months to obtain a divorce, instead of the previous requirement of two years.

As a state, Illinois has moved towards providing greater dignity to those seeking divorce in 2016, and it is a welcome gesture. Divorce may be difficult, but it should not be needlessly so. Those who face divorce may find that an experienced, caring divorce attorney can help keep the proceedings civil and respectful, protecting the rights of all involved parties.

Source: NWherald.com, "Illinois divorce law changes for 2016 focus on parental duties, time, streamlining process," CHELSEA McDOUGALL, accessed Aug. 03, 2016

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