Child custody is an important pillar of family law that represents a complicated and evolving legal matter. The State of Illinois makes periodic updates to child custody terms, and staying abreast of these updates can help you better protect your parental rights. If you are facing a child custody concern, reach out to an experienced Chicago child custody attorney today.
To begin, it’s important to recognize that the State of Illinois refers to child custody as parental responsibilities, which includes parenting time. Your parental responsibilities refer to the decision-making authority related to primary parenting decisions, such as those related to the following:
Parental responsibilities can be sole or joint. Parenting time, on the other hand, determines the schedule by which you and your children’s other parent will divide your time with the kids.
In 2016, Illinois changed the terminology it uses when addressing the matter of child custody. This is when child custody became the allocation of parental responsibilities. Additionally, the term visitation was replaced with parenting time. While the terms have changed, the basic meanings have not.
In recent years, Illinois has taken a more expansive approach to child custody arrangements that foregoes a win or lose mentality. In the past, it was very common for one parent to become the primary custodial parent while the other had a visitation schedule. Now, parents are far more likely than they were in the past to share parenting time more evenly. The court is invested in maximizing the time both parents have with their shared children – while focusing on the children’s best interests.
As child custody has become more expansive in terms of maximizing both parents’ schedules with the children, it has become more restrictive in terms of parental relocation. In the past, if one parent had primary custody, he or she had the legal right to move with the kids – without the approval of either the court or the other parent. Now, if the move is significant – which means more than a specific number of miles away – court approval is required.
In 2017, child support underwent a primary shift. In the past, the income of the parent who received child support did not factor into the calculation process, and neither did the amount of time the payor had with the kids. Since 2017, both parents’ incomes play a role in the child support calculation, and if the payor has the children at least 40 percent of the overnights, his or her child support obligation can be reduced considerably.
The practiced child custody attorneys at The Law Offices of George M. Sanders in Chicago are well prepared to skillfully advocate for child custody terms that uphold your parental rights. For more information about how we can help, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.