Ask A Divorce Lawyer: Can you get divorced without determining child custody?


Is it possible to dissolve a marriage without determining child custody?




Section 401(3) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act does allow a court to dissolve a marriage and reserve property division, child custody and support issues for a future hearing, but only under “appropriate circumstances.” This statute is similar to the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, and cases interpreting both indicate that “appropriate circumstances” are rare, usually occurring when the court does not have personal jurisdiction over a party, the court has set aside a fund for child support, the parties are unable to pay support, or the parties’ children do not reside with them. Even if the statute applies, the judgment is not final because is does not resolve all of the pending issues between the parties.  
I strongly encourage you to contact an attorney near you for a thorough case assessment. Keep in mind that I am a Michigan attorney and cannot give you detailed advice about the laws in Illinois. You should not rely on this answer as establishing an attorney-client relationship, and you should contact an attorney in your area immediately for additional information and legal representation. Cordell & Cordell, P.C. does have offices in Illinois.







Jennifer M. Paine is an Associate Attorney in the Detroit, Michigan office of Cordell & Cordell P.C. She is licensed to practice in Michigan, and has been admitted pro hac vice in Illinois, Ohio, and the United States Court of Federal Claims. Ms. Paine received her BA in English and Mathematics from Albion College and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She received her Juris Doctorate from MSU College of Law and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

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