Illinois Senate Bill 57, which went into effect on January 1, 2016, made a number of substantial changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), including grounds for divorce and the waiting period for divorce. Couples planning to pursue a dissolution of marriage should understand these new changes and how they may affect proceedings.
Grounds for Divorce Limited to No-Fault
Prior to the recently implemented bill, parties could file for divorce on a wide range of marital issues, including adultery, desertion or willful absence, infertility, transmission of sexually transmitted disease, domestic abuse, extreme cruelty, drunkenness, drug addiction, felony conviction, and bigamy. Now, only no-fault divorce – otherwise known as "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage" – exists.
The goal is to reduce the drawn-out arguments, defensiveness, and intentional stabs within divorce court that only further perpetuate the negative emotions experienced by both parties. It also seeks to resolve matters in a healthier way for couples by removing reasons that are unproductive in nature. This can be especially beneficial for families that include children who are often negatively affected by feuding parents.
Waiting Period Reduced
In addition to limiting the grounds for divorce, the bill reduces the amount of time that couples must wait in order to obtain a divorce. Rather than live separated for two years, they are no longer required to live in separate residents prior to filing divorce. Moreover, certain provision may allow couples to seek a divorce without having to prove irreconcilable differences or show an attempt at reconciliation. This, too, may help alleviate the sometimes perpetual issues experienced in the homes that have become war zones for angry or hurt couples.
Though Simplified, Divorce Matters are Still Complex
While the provisions made to the IMDMA have sought to simplify divorce and reduce its impact on all involved, divorce is still a complex matter. As such, couples should seek assistance from a skilled attorney. With more than 35 years of experience, Mevorah Law Offices LLC. provides full-service legal representation to ensure that your best interest and the interest of your children are protected. Call our DuPage County divorce attorneys at 630-932-9100 to schedule your free initial consultation today.
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