Chicago Child Custody Cases and the “Eighteen Month Rule”

If you are considering becoming involved in a divorce case with children or a child custody case, you should know about the “eighteen month rule.”Illinois courts want cases involving child custody to be resolved reasonably quickly based on the idea that prolonged custody battles are unstable and are bad for the child. The Illinois Supreme Court Rules require all child custody issues to be resolved within eighteen months from the date of service of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Petition for Custody in parentage cases. However, the court can make an exception for this rule due to the reality that some cases simply take a long time to conclude. The rules state that the time limit will not apply if the parties agree in writing and the trial court makes a written finding that the extension of time is for good cause shown. Sometimes if a case is not being settled because of matters unrelated to custody, the parties can sign a settlement agreement addressing only custody issues and have it entered with the court while the other issues continue to be litigated or negotiated.

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If you are looking for legal advice and representation with an Illinois divorce, schedule a consultation with experienced Chicago divorce attorney, Tanya Witt, at (312) 500-5400 or

Representing men and women in Chicago divorce and child custody cases.

This blog does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with an attorney regarding your specific case.