2021 Illinois Divorce and Family Law Bills (Click here for detailed pdf links and summary).
As of June 2020, several important pieces of Illinois’ family-law legislation have passed both Houses. Anticipate new family laws in 2021 including:
- Technical changes made to the IMDMA based on case law;
- Court-ordered retainers based upon an affidavit;
- A host of changes to the child support health insurance provisions within § 505.2;
- New law addressing temporary relocation;
- “Hope Cards” in domestic violence cases.
Bills that Passed both Houses.
SB 2110. Support enforcement remedies.
Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code, the IMDMA and the IPA of 2015. It provides that the procedures, actions, and remedies in the amended Acts shall not be exclusive, but shall be available in addition to other actions and remedies of support, including remedies provided in specific other Acts. It also provides that that actions and remedies shall be cumulative and may be used in conjunction with one another. it provides that actions and remedies shall not require a custody/allocation of parental rights or visitation determination as a prerequisite to a determination of a support obligation.
A good fix. HB2741
IMDMA-step-parent; Counseling (Sharpe v. Westmoreland and the Step-parent problem / Noyes fix-Redux)
§ 600(l) and 602.9(a)(3): and 607.6
Who Could be in Favor of Domestic Violence? A Terrible Original Bill
HB 3317. Domestic violence task force.
Creates the Domestic Violence Task Force Act. The purported purpose is to establish a consistent, uniform statewide system to protect victims and survivors of domestic violence, while holding offenders accountable. Original bill special legislation focused on maintenance and unconscionability of certain awards. Amendment was reframed to study the issue. Provides that the Task Force shall be composed of specified members. The Family Violence Coordinating Council within the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority shall provide administrative support to the Task Force. End date 9/1/27.
Interesting bill that will present unintended consequences.
HB 3484: IMDMA Temporary Relief and Attorney Fees
See pdf of bill: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/102/HB/PDF/10200HB3484lv.pdf
Amends Section 501(a)(2.5) of the IMDMA to a party to petition or move for an allowance from the other party for a retainer fee to obtain an attorney. Requires the petition to identify the attorney to be retained and be accompanied by specified documents. Provides that all awards shall be paid directly to the identified attorney.
New Section 2.5 after [Restraining Orders or Preliminary Injunction] and before [Other Appropriate Temporary Relief]:
an allowance from the other party for a retainer fee to obtain an attorney.
The petition shall identify the attorney to be retained and shall be accompanied by:
(i) a financial affidavit, supported by documentary evidence;
(ii) an affidavit from the identified attorney stating that the moving party has contacted the attorney and agreed to retain the attorney and that the attorney has agreed to enter an appearance if the court grants the relief by the moving party; and
(iii) a certificate stating that if an allowance is granted, the party shall use it only for retaining the attorney.
The court shall review the financial affidavit and attorney affidavit, and, if appropriate, grant an allowance to the party for a retainer fee. All awards under this paragraph shall be paid directly to the identified attorney.
HB 3485: Hope Card / Domestic Violence Cards
Amends the IDVA to provide that the Supreme Court may implement a “Hope Card” program. The Hope Card is issued to the petitioner of a plenary OP for potential distribution to any individual who should be aware of the order. Adds provisions concerning design/details of the Card. Provides that the Card has the same effect as the underlying plenary order of protection. Provides that the program may provide for the issuance of a temporary Hope Card at the time of the entry of the plenary order of protection. First card will be free and the Supreme Court may establish a fee for any additional Hope Card, not to exceed $7 per Hope Card.
Generally Good Bill. SB 258: IMDMA – Health Insurance
Amends a Section of the IMDMA §505.2 regarding health insurance coverage for children.
This was left alone by income shares and the 2016 Rewrite. Makes a host of changes.
First, it disconnects obligor and obligee with the obligor to provide health insurance. Thus, could be duty of either parent, consistent with income shares. It deletes the first two definitions of obligor/obligee. Then, defines “insurance obligee” as an individual to whom a health insurance obligation is owed on behalf of a child and “insurance obligor” as an individual with an obligation to provide health insurance for a child. It changes terms in 505.2 to conform to these new definitions. It will delete the language that provides the court shall enter an order for health insurance coverage of the child upon the request of the obligee or the public office in charge of child support enforcement. It deletes the language providing that the court shall order the obligor to reimburse the obligee for 50% of the premium for placing the child on his or her health insurance policy under certain circumstances. This language never had been consistent with Income Shares. It will further delete the language that provides that the court may order the obligor to reimburse the obligee for 100% of the premium for placing the child on his or her health insurance policy.
For better or worse, it will delete the language providing that the obligor shall be liable to the obligee for the dollar amount of the premiums that were not paid. Provides that an employer may eliminate a child from the insurance obligor’s health insurance coverage if the employer no longer provides a group health insurance plan to any employees or the child is no longer eligible for coverage due to federal or State restrictions.
Deletes a(1) and (2). Adds (5) and (6).
Last changed 2007.
Good Bill. SB 259: IMDMA – Temporary Relocation Orders
Amends §603.5 Temporary Parental Allocation Orders. New subsection (a-5) allows a court to order the temporary relocation of a child–before entry of a final allocation judgment if in the child’s best interests. Provides that a temporary relocation does not prejudice either parent in the allocation of parental responsibilities contained in a final allocation judgment.
(a-5) A court may order the relocation of the child on a temporary basis before the entry of a final allocation judgment if it is in the best interests of the child. Any relocation shall be considered temporary in nature and shall not prejudice either parent in the allocation of parental responsibilities contained in a final allocation judgment. Any relocation shall be made in accordance with the protocol set forth in subsections (c) through (g) of Section 609.2.
SB 2235. Toll Hwy-personal Information
Amends the Toll Highway Act. Provides that records identifying a specific instance of travel by a specific person or vehicle shall be used only as required to ensure the payment and enforcement of tolls and for law enforcement purposes.
Gunnar J. Gitlin
The Gitlin Law Firm, P.C.
Woodstock, IL 60098