Lawmakers Enact Clarifications to IMDMA

Effective January 1, 2017, there will be several new laws in place pertaining to Illinois marriage and divorce laws. Some of the family law issues which will be affected by the changes include child custody, child support, and adoption.

The beginning of 2016 brought major changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Although lawmakers did a thorough job in tackling many of the major issues in family law, there were some areas where clarification was needed. Public Act 099-0763 amends IMDMA with those clarifications, including:

  • The two-year ban on amending judgments only applies to “parental decision-making responsibilities” and not to “parenting-time provisions;”
  • The 25-mile relocation standard will be based on an “internet mapping service;”
  • A respondent is not required to file a parenting plan if they have not filed an appearance unless they are ordered by the judge to do so;
  • The presumed limits on post-high school educational expenses are those for an “in-state” student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and
  • An update of Article 7 of the Parentage Act of 2015 regarding the issues of artificial reproduction.

Child Support

Public Act 099-0764 makes changes to how child support will be calculated. Illinois will now be using the income shares model when it comes to determining how much child support a parent will be paying each month. In the income shares model, the courts believe that a child should receive the same parental portion of income they would if the parents were still together. In households where the parents are together, typically both incomes are combined for the benefit of the everyone in the family. Thus, following a divorce or breakup, both parents' incomes are added and then the court determines what percentage of that total will be the child support payment amount.

Illinois has been using the percentage of income model to determine child support, where the amount set is determined as a percentage of the obligor's (non-custodial parent) income. The other parent's income is not taken into account for these calculations.


An amendment to the Adoption Act will also take effect in January. Public Act 099-0832 will now require more disclosure to the adoptive parents regarding information surrounding the adoption, including:

  • Reasons why the birth parents are placing the child for adoption;
  • Why the adoptive parents were selected and how that decision was made;
  • Who selected the adoptive parents; and
  • Did the birth parents ask for or agree to any post-adoption contact with the child when they put the child up for adoption?

Illinois family law is frequently changing and evolving and that is why it is important to consult with a skilled DuPage County family law attorney when you are faced with divorce, custody, or other critical legal issues. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at (630) 793-6337 for a confidential consultation.


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