Are you considering divorce and wondering about how the court will determine child custody issues because you have minor children from your marriage? Do you need to work with a child custody lawyer because you are separating from your minor child’s other parent? Whether you are thinking about child custody because of a divorce or for another reason, an experienced Evanston child custody attorney can assist with your case.
It is important for anyone who needs assistance with a child custody case in Evanston to know that Illinois law no longer uses the term “child custody” when it comes to determining how parents will make legal or caretaking decisions for their minor children. Rather, under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), the state now uses the terms “parental responsibilities,” “parenting time,” and caretaking functions.” Illinois lawmakers believed that these changes to the law would be more flexible for families in Evanston and throughout the state. In order to better understand how these child custody terms work, we want to provide you with some more information about them according to the IMDMA.
First, and most significantly, the statute defines parental responsibilities as the time spent with the child as well as the authority to make decisions for the child. Significant decision-making responsibilities is the term that takes the place of “legal custody,” while “parenting time” takes the place of physical custody.
More precisely, the law defines parenting time as the time when the parent is physically taking care of the child, but also is responsible for making important decisions that impact the child. The statute further explains that caretaking functions include “tasks that involve interaction with a child or that direct, arrange, and supervise the interaction with and care of a child by others, or for obtaining the resources allowing for the provision of these functions.”
There are two ways that parental responsibilities can be allocated:
In family situations where the parents can agree to terms surrounding parental responsibilities, they can develop a parenting plan. The court can “sign off” on that parenting as long as the way in which it allocates parental responsibilities is in the best interests of the child or children. When the parents cannot agree to the terms in a parenting plan, then the court will consider many different factors that will help it to decide what kind of arrangement is in the best interests of the child. The court will then allocate parental responsibilities in an allocation judgment.
Whether you are planning to relocate or have other reasons for needing to modify a parenting plan or allocation judgment, you may be able to do so with the help of a child custody attorney in Evanston. The IMDMA outlines requirements for modifying an order, and a lawyer at our firm can help.
If you need assistance with a child custody case, or if you need help modifying an existing parenting plan or allocation judgment, an experienced Evanston child custody lawyer at our firm can discuss your options with you. Contact the Arami Law Office today to talk with a compassionate child custody attorney.
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