Overhauling the Illinois Marriage and Divorce Statute
Over the last several years, lawmakers have instituted changes to the Illinois marriage and divorce statute in relation to same-sex marriage and spousal maintenance. Yet those changes only represent a small portion of recent shifts in laws concerning Illinois families. To be sure, the Illinois legislature recently passed a substantial rewrite of our state’s laws when it comes to marriage and divorce, and those new laws will go into effect on January 1, 2016.
It is important for Muslim families in the Oakbrook Terrace area to have a better understanding of the changes to our state’s marriage and divorce laws, and the ways in which those laws can impact family life. It is imperative to understand the major changes being made to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) in order to best prepare yourself for any issues relating to family law within the state.
No More Grounds for Divorce
Beginning January 1, 2016, Muslims in Illinois who file for divorce will no longer need to consider grounds for the dissolution of marriage. What are grounds for divorce? In short, until the overhaul of the IMDMA, the divorce laws in our state required a party seeking a divorce to have grounds for dissolving his or her marriage. While the law did include “irreconcilable differences” as one of the grounds for divorce (a sort of “no fault” grounds), the law still included some of the following as grounds for divorce:
- Alcohol or drug abuse;
- Physical cruelty; and
- Mental cruelty.
With the changes to the IMDMA, these grounds for divorce are no longer on the books.
Shorter Waiting Period for Divorce
Without changes to the divorce laws, Illinois couples who could not agree to a six-month waiting period for divorce would need to live separate and apart for two years. Through the overhaul to the IMDMA, divorcing spouses need only adhere to a six-month waiting period, and many can file for divorce as soon as they have separated.
Parental Relocation Changes
Under the new laws, divorced parents with residential custody of minor children in DuPage County and other counties throughout the state will only be able to move up to 25 miles away without leave of the court. This shift limits the distance that a residential custodian can move within the state of Illinois, thus encouraging co-parenting.
Reasons for Property Division and Spousal Maintenance
As of January 1, 2016, courts will need to “provide reasons for the allocations they make” when it comes to orders of spousal maintenance and property division, according to the Illinois Bar Journal article. Advocates argue that divorcing spouses are more likely to adhere to these orders when they understand why a court made a particular decision. Additionally, appellate courts will have a clearer conception of why the trial court made a particular decision in the event of an appeal.
Eradicating Heart Balm Actions
The overhaul to the IMDMA gets rid of “heart balm” actions, which include such things as alienation of affection or adultery. According to one report, the General Assembly’s decision to eradicate these actions suggest that “society has moved on; heart balm actions are the product of antiquated notions of men’s and women’s roles in relationships.”
Contact a DuPage County Muslim Family Lawyer
Negotiating marriage and divorce laws in Oakbrook Terrace can be complicated for members of the Muslim community, and the overhaul to the IMDMA will bring about new questions about the roles of spouses and parents in Illinois. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we understand the difficulties and complexities that are often presented by Illinois family law, and we can assist you today. Do not hesitate to discuss your situation with an experienced Oakbrook Terrace divorce attorney. Contact us to learn more about our services.