Beginning in 2016, Illinois child custody laws changed. Under the revised Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/), the statute no longer uses the terms “child custody” and “visitation.” Instead, those terms have been replaced with a term known as the “allocation of parental responsibilities,” which includes significant decision-making responsibilities and care-taking functions for the child. In general, significant decision-making responsibilities are what we used to know as legal custody, while care-taking functions and parenting time are terms that we used to discuss as physical custody and visitation.
While in some ways these changes are issues of language only, they signal a change in the way Illinois wants to handle family law issues, particularly when it comes to children. The old terms of child custody and visitation failed in some ways to make clear the importance of the parent-child relationship and the importance of flexibility for each family’s situation. A child custody attorney in Des Plaines can answer your questions today.
While you should know that the language of the law has changed with regard to child custody in Des Plaines, it is also important to understand that Illinois law provides parents with the ability to develop their own “parenting plan” in which they come to an agreement about significant decision-making responsibilities and care-taking functions for the child. When the parents can agree to a parenting plan, the court will need to look at it to agree that the terms are in the best interests of the child. Once the court finds the plan acceptable, then the court will not need to go through the process of allocating parental responsibilities. Instead, such allocations will be outlined in the parenting plan.
When the parents of the child cannot agree to a parenting plan, the court will issue an “allocation judgment,” which the statute describes as a “judgment allocating parental responsibilities.” This allocation judgment will provide details concerning significant decision-making responsibilities for the child, as well as caretaking functions and parenting time.
What is Involved in the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities?
Generally speaking, the allocation of parental responsibilities requires a determination of two different major factors:
It is entirely possible for one parent will make significant decisions about the child’s upbringing while both parents share in parenting time. A court also might determine that the parents should share the responsibility for making significant decisions about the child’s upbringing and will determine which decisions each parent will be responsible for making.
At Arami Law, we know how complicated family law matters can be, especially when children are involved. If you have questions about the allocation of parental responsibilities, a Des Plaines child custody lawyer can help. Contact Arami Law to learn more about how we assist families in Des Plaines with child custody issues.
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