Posted by Paul Callighan on Aug 14, 2019
Illinois divorce law changes range from name changes to major procedural changes according to an update given to Sycamore Rotarians by family practice attorney Jim Buck on August 14.  The latest round of updates takes into account changes in traditional family roles and careers plus things like new federal tax laws.
Many of the name changes involve terms familiar to even those outside the legal profession.  For example, “custody” and “joint custody” were replaced with “allocation of parental responsibilities”; while “visitation” was replaced with “parenting time.”  Also, there are no longer any “fault grounds” for divorce.  Instead, the term “irreconcilable differences” is used to define a situation where there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and no further efforts at reconciliation will be practical or in the best interest of the family.
Child support payments have changed from percentage guidelines to a combined income approach.  Buck explained that federal and state charts provide the estimated cost of supporting a child and each parent’s support is then calculated based on their percentage of the combined income.  He noted that the result is that fathers are paying less child support than under prior rules.  Also, Buck pointed out that “maintenance’ payments are now based on net income rather than gross income because the payments are no longer deductible for federal income tax purposes.
Buck concluded that from nomenclature to process changes, there have been some significant updates to the Illinois divorce laws.