When couples in Illinois get married and decide to have children, most do not imagine that they will end up getting divorced and involved in a difficult child custody case. Even in the best situations where parents are able to work together for the benefit of their kids, child custody cases in Arlington Heights can still be extremely complex.
It is essential for Arlington Heights residents to know that the term “child custody” is not used under Illinois law any longer. Through recent changes to family law, courts now allocate parental responsibilities instead of issuing child custody orders. The change is largely a semantic one, but it means that, rather than determining legal and physical custody, the court makes determinations about how the parents will share significant decision-making responsibilities for the child as well as how the parents will share parenting time. A dedicated Arlington Heights child custody attorney can help.
As we mentioned, Illinois child custody has undergone some recent changes. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), courts are tasked with allocating parental responsibilities and parenting time. When parents can agree about parental responsibilities and can solidify that agreement in a parenting plan, that parenting plan can take the place of a court order.
However, when parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will allocate parental responsibilities and will order what is known as an allocation judgment. The statute defines parental responsibilities as parenting time and decision-making responsibilities in regards to a child. What do you need to know about the statutory definitions and how the court uses them to allocate parental responsibilities? The IMDMA provides the following important definitions:
Families in Arlington Heights should also know about the “parenting plan.” The statute defines this as a written plan that allocates decision-making responsibilities, parenting time, or both. If parents can work together on a parenting plan that outlines responsibilities in a manner that the court determines to be in the child’s best interests, the parenting plan takes the place of an allocation judgment. In other words, it allows the parents to play a more active role in shaping child custody matters.
Nobody in Illinois should have to go through a child custody case without the help of an experienced and compassionate Arlington Heights child custody lawyer. Contact the Law Office of George M. Sanders, P.C. to speak with an advocate today.