Illinois Family Law: An Overview
Family life, including marriage, divorce, children's welfare and other related topics, is regulated by Illinois law. A highly personal topic often influenced by shifting, strong emotions, there are many legal considerations at play in family law. Illinois's family law statutes help to ensure that each family member's individual rights are secure while fairly serving their best interests.
Whether you have a family law case in Aurora, Springfield or Chicago, LawInfo is your source for information and legal help. LawInfo's Illinois Family Law section includes legal overviews, summaries of state laws and other resources to help you make the right decisions for you and your family. Illinois family law attorneys can assist you with any of the following topics (and many more).
Illinois Marriage License
A marriage license is an important document a couple will need to acquire before their wedding. A license officiates a marital union under state law, which helps a married couple qualify for certain benefits. To qualify for a marriage license in Illinois, a couple must meet these requirements:
- Both parties are age 18 years or older. If one or both parties are ages 16 to 17, they must attain parental, guardian or judicial approval.
- Both parties must provide proof of identity and birth to the County Clerk.
- If one or both parties were previously married, they must provide proof of divorce.
- Neither party may be "closely related," including parent and child, siblings, or uncle/aunt and nephew/niece, regardless of the relationship's legitimacy or blood relation.
Once you receive your marriage license, you must wait 24 hours before getting married. After the waiting period is over, you have 60 days to get married before the license expires. It's important that you note these time limits so you can incorporate them into your wedding plans.
Illinois Divorce Requirements
Unlike many other states, Illinois is a "no-fault" divorce state. This means that there are no specific legal grounds that a marriage must meet to qualify for a legal dissolution. The only requirements a couple must meet are that one or both parties have lived in Illinois for 90 days or longer prior to filing for divorce and that the divorce is happening as a result of "irreconcilable differences."
Alternatively, if the couple has been living separately and apart for six months or longer prior to filing for divorce, the court automatically presumes that there were irreconcilable differences. This helps to fulfill one of the only requirements for divorce.
Child Custody and Visitation in Illinois
Parents who file for divorce face important child rearing decisions. They must decide which parent will have primary custody and what percentage of time each one will spend with the children. In Illinois family courts, these are referred to as "decision-making" and "parenting time."
Parental decisions are governed by a court order or a formal agreement between parents. The court may decide to allocate most or all of the decision-making responsibilities to only one parent. These are the issues that may be divided between the parents for decision-making responsibilities:
- Religious upbringing
- Extracurricular activities
A court will determine parenting time (visitation) based on the best interests of the child.
When Do I Need an Illinois Family Law Attorney?
Whether you need a family law attorney depends on a number of factors specific to your case. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Few couples need a lawyer to get married but attorneys may be required if there’s a prenuptial agreement involved.
Individuals often benefit from hiring an attorney when dealing with divorce, child support, and especially child custody matters. Because emotions can run high during some divorces, hiring an attorney to negotiate and resolve difficult issues can be invaluable.
Many lawyers offer free initial consultations, so it may be worth your time to speak with an experienced Illinois family law attorney if you have additional questions.
Speak to an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today
Even the most common family law issue can be intensely stressful. A knowledgeable family lawyer can guide you through the process. An attorney will coach you on how to proceed and give expert guidance on hearings, trials and enforcing court orders. Take the first step now and talk to an experienced local family attorney.
Additional Family Law Articles
- How Do I Apply At Regional Offices?
- What Does The Employer Receive?
- Does The Notice To Withhold Always Come From The Illinois Department Of Public Aid?
- Will The Employer Packets Vary?
- The Notice From Another State References That State's Laws, Instead Of Illinois Laws, Which Do I Follow?
- How Does An Employer Know When And How Much To Withhold?
- What Does An Employer Send With The Withheld Check Or Money Order?
- Does An Employer Have To Withhold At The Frequency On The Notice?
- How Does An Employer Know When To Stop Withholding?
- Can An Employer Charge A Fee To Cover The Cost Of Issuing A Separate Check?
- What If The Employee Quits?
- If An Employee Has Other Wage Garnishments, Which Has Priority?
- How Does The Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act Affect Withholding?
- What If The Employee's Available Net Income Is Less Than The Amount To Be Withheld?
- Can Pay Be Withheld From Bonuses, Profit Sharing, And Commissions?
- Can The Employer Send Withheld Income From Several Employees In One Check?
- Are Other Shortcuts Being Considered To Make It Easier For Employers To Comply?
- Can An Employer Discipline, Discharge Or Refuse To Hire An Employee That Has A Withholding Order?
- What Does An Employer Do When The Employee Or Custodial Parent Ask Questions About Their Withholding Notice?
- Does The Employer Have To Tell The Employee That A Notice To Withhold Income For Child Support Has Been Received?
- What Should The Employer Do When The Employee Is Ordered To Provide Medical Support?
- Will The Sdu Charge For The Service?
- What If I Do Not Receive My Check, Or The Amount Is Wrong?
- What Will My Check Look Like?
- My Check Was Lost Or Stolen, What Should I Do?
- Can I Call The Sdu With Questions?
- I Plan To Move, To Whom Do I Report A Change Of Address?
- Now Do I Report A Change Of Address Or A New Employer?
- Can My Employer Still Charge Me $5.00 Per Month Processing Fee?
- Where Are My Payments Being Mailed?
- What Do I Do About My Annual $36 Fee To The Circuit Clerk?
- If A Private Collection Agency Receives A Payment From A Noncustodial Parent, Will They Send It To Idpa Or To The Sdu?
- In Illinois, can a Spouse Give Up His or Her Right to Alimony in a Premarital Agreement?
- What Steps are Necessary to Enter a Valid Premarital Agreement in Illinois?