Over the past two years there has been a major over-haul of the laws and court docket system affecting the domestic relations practice area in Cook County. In 2016 numerous laws were amended and in 2017 the domestic relations and parentage courts were consolidated so that Judges hearing pre and post decree divorce cases are now hearing parentage cases as well, and vice versa. Although amendments to laws happen often, a complete over-haul of the system is not as common.
As the new/amended laws and docket system continue to be into effect and the Judges, attorneys and pro se parties get acclimated with the modified system, other areas of the law are being affected and examined and further amendments are being proposed.
Two of the most recent proposed amendments are:
Life insurance and Divorce
The amendment would prohibit life insurance benefits from being paid to a former spouse after a judgment of dissolution of invalidity of marriage unless there is a specific reference to the policy in the judgment to the contrary.
The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) expedited appeals for child care workers
The proposed amendments clarify the administrative appeal process for child care workers and others whom DCFS investigates for alleged child abuse or neglect. The proposed rules allow for an expedited appeal process for alleged perpetrators who are child care workers. Children may participate in an appeal hearing under certain circumstances. The proposed rules require written notification to the perpetrator of final findings along with instructions for requesting an appeal. The proposed rule would also delay the 60-day period of requesting an administrative appeal hearing on the indicated finding until after the criminal or juvenile court action has conducted.
As the domestic relations area continues to evolve with the new amendments and docket system, I am sure that many other proposals were occur, what legislature actually decides to adopt will be interesting to see.