Parties to a Divorce Have Behavioral Obligations Mandated by Illinois Law

After an Illinois divorce case is started by the Petitioner and the Respondent is formally served with the divorce papers, or if he or she file his or her Appearance, the Petitioner and Respondent must refrain from certain behavior. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (“IMDMA”) is the source of divorce law in Illinois. The IMDMA imposes certain requirements upon parties to a divorce once both parties are formally involved in the case.

The first requirement is that each party is barred from physically abusing, harassing, intimidating, striking, or interfering with the personal liberty of the other spouse or the parties’ children. It is an unfortunate reality that many couples’ arguments during the tense situation of a divorce can often escalate to a violent, mentally abusive, or physically abusive level. This requirement puts the parties on notice that such behavior will not be tolerated by the court system.

The second requirement applies to parties who have children. After both parties are formally involved in the divorce, neither party can take the children out of Illinois unless the other party consents. A party may remove the children from Illinois over the other party’s objection if he or she obtains a court order or if the party wanting to remove the children from Illinois obtains court approval. If your spouse gives you permission to take the children out of Illinois while the divorce is pending, make sure you have his or her approval in writing. However, your spouse’s written approval may not be sufficient because your spouse could change his or her mind and revoke his or her prior permission. To protect yourself from this situation, we recommend that you obtain an agreed court order allowing you to take the children out of Illinois.

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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.