An Overview Of Several Changes To The Divorce Laws In Illinois

Laws governing the divorce process have changed recently in Illinois. If you live in Illinois and will be filing for divorce soon, here are some of the changes that will affect the process you will go through.

Reasons for Divorce

Until the beginning of 2016, you had to make a claim that you had a valid reason for getting a divorce, and in many cases, you would have to prove that claim. The reasons could include things like infidelity, bigamy, addictions, and a few others. Illinois is now considered to be a "no-fault" state when it comes to listing reasons for the divorce. This means the only thing that matters is that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences.

Wait Time

You won't have to wait as long for the divorce to go through as you once did. Prior to 2016, a couple who was using irreconcilable differences as the reason for divorce had to wait at least two years before the divorce was granted. You would also usually have to show that you had tried to work things out, but that the effort was futile. Now, you only have to live apart for at least six months to show you have irreconcilable differences and you can get a grant of divorce, if it's uncontested, within a few months. Contested divorces can take much longer as you and your spouse work through issues like how to split up the assets and deal with child custody issues.

Alimony Payments

The formula for determining how much one spouse has to pay another in alimony when the combined income of the two is less than $250,000 has changed. Judges used to have the freedom to impose a number of alimony payments a spouse had to pay and for how long the payments had to be made – which could be indefinite. Now, the amount paid and the length of time it has to be paid should adhere to formulas created by the state or the judge has to explain why they did not adhere to the formulas. The income of both parties is now to be used to determine the amount of the alimony payment a spouse can receive. The formula states that 30% of the payor's gross income minus 20% of the payee's gross income will determine the monthly alimony amount. In this case, if the husband makes $60,000 (30% x $60,000 = $18,000) and the wife makes $50,000 (20% x $50,000 = $10,000) the amounts of yearly alimony payments would be $8,000 per year ($18,000 – $10,000 = $8,000) or $666.67 per month.

For more information, contact McKissick & McKissick or a similar firm.