Illinois Family law is changing once again with the passage of public act 100-520.

Some of the new changes include:

750 ILCS 5/21-103.5 now requires that any petition to change a child’s name require notification to a parent or any person who has been assigned parental responsibilities.
“Sec. 21-103.5. Change of name involving a minor. In any application for a change of name involving a minor, before a judgment under this Article may be entered, actual notice and an opportunity to be heard shall be given to any parent whose parental rights have not been previously terminated and to any person who has been allocated parental responsibilities under Section 602.5 or 602.7 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. If any of these persons is outside this State, notice and an opportunity to be heard shall be given under Section 21-104.”

The language is not specific as to whether the person has to have parental responsibilities now or in the past. Nor does it state whether the parental responsibilities had to be specifically allocated in a written allocation of parental responsibilities (although it does seem to imply that).

So, this means that children whose last names change due to adoption (or any other reason) may have to inform anyone who has previously cared for them including grandparents of both parents.

750 ILCS 413(c) now allows any party to revert to their old or maiden name, not just the wife.
“Unless the person whose marriage is dissolved or declared invalid requests otherwise, the judgment under this Section shall contain a provision authorizing the person to resume the use of his or her former or maiden name, should he or she choose to do so, at any time he or she chooses to do so.”

There are rare instances where couples combine their last names and it’s conceivable that the husband in the relationship would like to revert to his old name after a divorce.
750 ILCS 504(b-1)(B)(1) is making the periods for maintenance a lot more specific.
“(B) The duration of an award under this paragraph (1) shall be calculated by multiplying the length of the marriage at the time the action was commenced by whichever of the following factors applies: less than 5 years (.20); 5 years or more but less than 6 years (.24); 6 years or more but less than 7 years (.28); 7 years or more but less than 8 years (.32); 8 years or more but less than 9 years (.36); 9 years or more but less than 10 years (.40); 10 years or more but less than 11 years (.44); 11 years or more but less than 12 years (.48); 12 years or more but less than 13 years (.52); 13 years or more but less than 14 years (.56); 14 years or more but less than 15 years (.60); 15 years or more but less than 16 years (.64); 16 years or more but less than 17 years (.68); 17 years or more but less than 18 years (.72); 18 years or more but less than 19 years (.76); 19 years or more but less than 20 years (.80).”

The law used to broken down into 5 year chunks and would have me advising clients “your 10th anniversary is next week, you have to file for divorce immediately.” I will still advise the same but the stakes will be considerably less high.

Additionally, temporary maintenance is often awarded by the court during the pendency of the divorce case. All judges that I’ve encountered have applied that temporary maintenance as a credit towards the permanent maintenance awarded. The new law enshrines this common practice in Illinois divorce courts.

“(1.5) In the discretion of the court, any term of temporary maintenance paid by court order pursuant to Section 501 may be a corresponding credit to the duration of maintenance set forth in subparagraph (b-1)(1)(B).”

Under the old law, Illinois courts would have to follow the maintenance guidelines if the two parties made under $ 250,000 together gross. Now, Illinois courts have to follow the maintenance guidelines if the two parties made under $ 500,000 gross.

Contact my Chicago, Illinois law office to speak to an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer regarding these changes in Illinois divorce law.