By: Jason G. Schutte

Often spouses both agree that a marriage has reached the point of no return.  The spouses may even come to an amicable agreement on the division of property, and if applicable, parenting time and child responsibility.  These situations are called uncontested or agreed divorces.

These divorces still require parties to file a divorce case in the circuit court of the county in Illinois where they reside.  Proper court filings are very important even in light of the parties’ agreement on most or all issues.  Problems can arise in the future if the parties do not accurately describe the agreements reached regarding property distribution and parental rights.  Failure to accurately describe a party’s rights or obligations in the court filings can make these agreements unenforceable, which will certainly prejudice one or both parties.

The attorneys at Koepke & Hiltabrand have assisted many couples to resolve their divorce issues amicably, while ensuring that the parties’ rights are protected and enforceable.  Please contact us to discuss your case.

By: Jason G. Schutte

Mediation of child custody, removal and visitation issues is required in the state of Illinois.  A mediation can be generally described as  a meeting where a neutral person, the mediator, attempts to resolve disputed issues between parties.  In a divorce or family case, this generally means that the mediator is attempting to resolve custody, visitation or removal issues between the parents of minor children.

Mediation in custody cases is required under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 905.  Judges in family law cases will order mediation unless the court determines that an “impediment” to mediation exists.  Mediators are often attorneys, social workers or therapists that have no relationship with either party.  Generally a mediation will be required before a judge will allow parties to proceed to trial regarding custody, visitation or child removal issues.

Gone are the days of determining child support based on a percentage of the paying parent’s net income.  Illinois has re-written the laws governing child support, effective in July of 2017. The legislature has directed the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to adopt rules establishing “child support guidelines” which will reflect the “percentage of combined net income” that parents residing in the same household in the State of Illinois ordinarily spend on their children.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has not established the guidelines mentioned above at this point.  This change in the laws governing custody will certainly have a major impact on family and divorce cases in the future.  We will update this site with information as the new law is in enacted and put in effect.

Contact the attorneys at Koepke and Hiltabrand with any questions regarding the issues discussed herein.

No More Grounds for Divorce

by Jason G. Schutte

The Generally Assembly recently drafted a revision of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act (Act), which will go into effect on January 1, 2016.  One of many changes changes within the revision is grounds for divorce.  Under the old version of the Act several grounds for dissolution of marriage (divorce) could be the basis for divorce action, for example- impotence, adultery and habitual drunkenness.

The new version of the Act provides only on ground for divorce, irreconcilable differences.[2]

Additionally, the new version of the Act dispenses with the 2 year/6 month separation period.  Under the new Act, if the parties to the divorce live separate and apart for a period of 6 months preceding the entry of the dissolution order, an irrebutable presumption will arise that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

[2] Id.

[3] 750 ILCS 5/401 (a-5) (2016)