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New Illinois Gun Law Affects Those with Restraining OrdersA new law was just passed in Illinois that affects people who have restraining orders against them. The law further restricts the ability to own guns for people who have orders of protection against them or other specific domestic violence charges.

The Law

The new law goes into effect January 1, 2017. The statute lets the Illinois State Police revoke gun owners’ Firearm Owner's Identification Cards and deny someone’s application for the cards if they have certain protections filed against them. If someone has an order of protection or an order of no contact for stalking that applies to them, then they are eligible to have their ability to own firearms restricted under this new law.

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Illinois family law relating to marriage, divorce, child custody, alimony, and other related matters, is governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The Act, which was passed in 1977, is now slated for a big restructuring. For the first time in 40 years, Illinois lawmakers are considering sweeping changes to the patchwork of laws that govern close family relationships. Changes could impact many people who are currently involved in the process of divorce, or who are thinking about beginning the process.

The Illinois legislature has asked an advisory group, the Illinois Family Law Study Committee, to make recommendations for updating the marriage law. They have been collecting information and perspectives of judges, lawyers, and families impacted by the law for several years, and have crafted a set of changes. The changes are intended to reflect more modern cultural values and norms relating to divorce and custody of children. Although the advisory committee agrees that even if the changes were implemented, the law would still not be perfect, they believe that these changes would vastly improve the law as it stands today.

The changes have been set out in Illinois Senate Bill 57, which failed to reach a vote last year. However, the bill was given new life and in February, it passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee, which serves as a forum for social issues before sending them to be considered by the entire Senate.

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Illinois alimony lawVirtually all areas of law at least have the potential to change over time. Sometimes, the change comes in the form of court decisions, and other times it is through legislative action. Attorneys are responsible for keeping informed of changes in the law and any related procedure in order to provide their clients with competent representation.

Such a change has recently occurred within this state. In Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law into effect that will change the alimony law in the state beginning in January of 2015. This law is expected to affect the maintenance and spousal support awarded to ex-spouses in divorce cases in the new year, and its exact effects will vary depending on the circumstances of each case.

New Law

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same-sex marriage, Illinois marriage law, Illinois law, family lawyer, Chicago family lawyerAn article recently published by The Windy City Times discussed same-sex couples being legally allowed to marry across the state of Illinois. Beginning on June 1st, the state’s Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Act took effect across the state, giving same-sex couples the right to marry and enjoy all of the same rights and privileges as married heterosexual couples. A number of counties had allowed same-sex couples to procure marriage licenses for the past several months in advance of the law taking effect, in light of a federal ruling in February that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Other counties decided to wait until the law went into effect this month to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Couples Seeking Marriage Licenses

Despite the Federal Court’s ruling in February, county clerk’s offices in Illinois who did accept early applications were not overrun with same-sex marriage license requests. Many of them surmised that this was perhaps because couples wanted to wait to plan their ceremonies and weddings for the summer months, since the licenses are only valid for 60 days. Another reason couples may have put off getting their marriage license right away is because a portion of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Act allows couples who have already entered into a civil union to backdate their licenses to the date of their union, without the need for a new ceremony or a new fee. This rule did not apply until June 1st.

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