Major Changes to Illinois Divorce and Custody Law in 2016

There are major changes to Illinois divorce and Illinois child custody laws that take effect on January 1, 2016. Starting on January 1, 2016 we will not even use the term “custody” any longer. What was referred to as “sole custody” or “joint custody” will become the allocation of parental responsibilities. These changes are more than semantics. Parents will be able to allocate child-related decision-making based upon the subject. This will give divorcing parents and their attorneys greater latitude in customizing terms and reaching agreement. Another area of significant change is in the area of the relocation or “removal” of children. Under the new law there are mileage restrictions on the relocation of a child’s primary residence but moving across state lines will become permissible if it is within the mileage limit. In Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties the child’s primary residence may be moved 25 miles or less without leave of court. There are also important changes to the grounds for divorce. There will no longer be fault-based grounds such as adultery or “mental cruelty” and the only legal grounds for divorce will be irreconcilable differences. Child support is also undergoing some modification although the statutory percentages remain the same. Certain expenses necessary for the production of income, namely student loans, may be deducted before calculating statutory child support. There are numerous other changes including changes to the law regarding non-minor children’s college expenses.

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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.