January 1, 2016, important changes to Illinois family law will take effect. There will be adjustments to child custody under the Illinois Marriage and Dissociation of Marriage Act, which will replace the law’s current language of ‘child custody and visitation’ with ‘parental responsibility and allocation of parenting time’.
With regard to parental responsibility, the current law gives the parent awarded legal custody the right to make important decisions on behalf of the child. Under the new law, parental decision-making responsibility is more thoughtfully approached by considering impacting categories of education, religion, health and extracurricular activities. Parents may decide to make these decisions jointly, divvy up the categories of responsibility, or have sole authority based on what is in the best interests of the child.
‘Allocation of parenting time’ is an evolution of sorts from the divisive language of ‘joint versus sole physical custody’ and the ‘perceived’ runner-up status of receiving ‘visitation rights’. The softening of terms may indeed allow for a less contentious way for parents to navigate the process of spending time with their kids following divorce.
We will discuss more changes to the law – follow our blog for more information. If you have questions regarding the new law, contact the Law Offices of Schlesinger, Strauss & Hoyt LLC. We can assist you with concerns regarding Illinois divorce, child support and custody, spousal maintenance, property division and more.