As Chicago readers may know, Illinois follows the no-fault doctrine for dissolution of marriages. Under the no-fault rules, a spouse seeking a divorce is not required to prove that the other spouse committed some form of marital misconduct, such as adultery, abuse or addictive behavior. Nonetheless, divorcing spouses often find it difficult to refrain from finger-pointing and name-calling in the emotional roller coaster that may accompany the end of a marriage.
As the November elections get closer, the debate over same-sex marriage rages on in Illinois and across the country. Recent announcements by CEOs and political parties have added fuel to the fire. Over the last two years, there have been major changes in Illinois as to the rights of same-sex couples. Last year, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a law legalizing civil unions between couples of the same sex. Furthermore, as this blog mentioned in the past, a lawsuit was also filed seeking to legalize gay marriage in Illinois.
It is unlikely that any Illinois married couple wakes up one day and decides they are going end their marriage. The decision to divorce is one that can take months or even years. There are a lot of factors that go into ending a marriage, and a lot of decisions that need to be made. Couples must consider their finances, their children and their emotions before being able to go their separate ways.
Many decisions must be made as a couple ends their marriage. Couples seeking divorce can be as contentious or as amicable as they choose. Illinois couples can work directly with each other and their attorneys to create a settlement. This settlement can be detailed and cover every aspect of the divorce, including child custody and visitation. Working together, couples can generally save time and money by staying out of court.
Recently, a panel has been put together to discuss uniform family law rules for military service members. Specifically, this panel, which is made up of representatives from every state including Illinois, is trying to come up with a uniform set of child custody laws.