Illinois law is about to change with respect to divorce and custody. Put simply, SB57 is the Illinois legislature’s effort, effective January 1, 2016, to change the way that divorce and custody litigation is conducted in Illinois. But, as the old saying goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same,” and such may the case with this sweeping new law.
As many other states have done for years, Illinois law now rejects determinations of fault (such as adultery or mental cruelty) in divorce. More importantly, SB57 does away with terms like “custody” and ‘visitation” and now requires the court to determine “parenting allocation,” though the court is still required to determine which parent will have the primary residence of the children, as well as assign the obligation for the payment of child support to one parent.
While other states have crafted more modern laws that allocate between parents both parenting time and financial responsibility, Illinois’ new law still has inappropriate vestiges of the old custody, visitation, and child support law. As the law changes, parents in divorce beginning in Fall of 2015 will need to be mindful of the new laws and their effects.