New changes to the law starting on January 1, 2016

10 changes wrought by the family law rewrite

In the December ISBA Family Law newsletter, Marie Sarantakis offers a Top 10 list of changes wrought by the sweeping IMDMA revisions that took effect January 1. Here’s a summary.

1. New terminology. Words like “custody” and “visitation” have been replaced with less adversarial terms like “parental-decision making” and “parenting time.”

2. No-fault divorce. ”Irreconcilable differences” is now the only ground.

3. Less waiting. The period parties must wait to get a divorce is reduced from two years to six months, with no wait in uncontested cases.

4. The end of heart balm. No more actions for alienation of affection, etc.

5. Property allocation explained. Courts now have to issue written findings explaining their rationale for property distribution.

6. Removal of children based on distance. Parents must seek leave to relocate based on the distance, not the state, of their new residence.

7. Speedier orders of dissolution. Judges must issue the order within 60 days after proofs close.

8. College expenses covered. Courts can order parties to pay for a child’s college expenses.

9. Standardized financial disclosure. The supreme court is creating a standardized financial disclosure form. View and comment on the court’s draft financial affidavit.

10. Simplified temporary support hearings. Temporary maintenance and child support requests will now be heard on a summary basis rather than in a full evidentiary hearing.

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