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New bill in Illinois set to change divorce law

A bipartisan group has drafted a new bill that is set to cause major changes throughout family law in Illinois. The Family Law Study Committee has been gathering information from a variety of sources throughout Illinois for four years, including judges, advocates, and other experts. The newly drafted bill seeks to make changes to the three-decade old state divorce laws. The bill, called HB 1452, is currently in deliberation.

Illinois divorce law has remained static since its inception over 35 years ago, but HB 1452 is set to rewrite the book on divorce in the state. The proposed changes include the removal of the "grounds" requirement, and a much more rapid judgment turnaround in divorce cases. It also seeks an end to punitive lawsuits related to the divorce, as well as child support determinations based upon the income of both parties. It also extends new rights to the non-primary parent in custody situations.

Supporters hope the proposed changes to the existing laws will help serve modern families in transition. Specifically, the laws are designed to cut down on inter-spousal acrimony, and make the challenging transition easier on any children involved. As of this writing, there has been no word on the progress of this bill.

Any time divorce law changes in a meaningful way, it can have a profound influence on Illinois couples entering into a separation. Understanding your rights and responsibilities in a divorce situation is vital to the success of the process. It may be beneficial to keep up on the most current iterations of divorce law in your area should you be entering or considering a divorce.

Source: Alton Daily News, "Divorce Law Examined," Nick Gale, April 16, 2013

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