New Family Laws in 2016
New Divorce, Parentage and Family Law statutes become effective on January 1, 2016. The changes are immense and reflect the most significant shift in family law since the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act was instituted in 1977. As news reports of the new laws hit the internet, there is both information and confusion. Clients are beginning to ask: how will this affect my case? Former clients who have been divorced for years or are having their alimony or support amounts reviewed are asking: will this change the amount I pay or receive?
Our firm is studying the new laws, strategizing about how to best help our clients, and implementing changes for the first of the year. Our office will be closed on Thursday, November 5, 2015, as all of our attorneys will be attending an all-day seminar on the new laws.
I had served on committees which drafted proposed legislative changes, and testified before the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on the custody law changes. Our firm will incorporate that knowledge in advising clients on the new allocation of rights and responsibility laws which replace our former custody laws.
The new maintenance and child support laws provide for complex calculations in determining how much each side will pay or receive.
In light of what some are calling drastic changes, we are receiving more inquiries regarding pre-nuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements (for those already in a marriage).
Change can seem stressful and perplexing, but if it is studied, understood and applied thoughtfully, it can also be an incredible opportunity to make your life better and to keep your family secure.
Matthew G. Shaw