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Changes to terminology regarding child custody

If you are a parent seeking to divorce your spouse, you may wonder about child custody arrangements. However, both the term and the concept are a little outdated. Rather than using the term "child custody," Illinois courts now refer to the allocation of parental responsibilities. We at Stange Law Firm believe the change is beneficial because even if communication is problematic between two parents, the new rule involves both parents in their child's life rather than determining custody and arranging for visitation. 

Allocation of parental responsibilities involves the creation of a parenting agreement or plan. According to FindLaw, in most cases, parents and their attorneys are able to negotiate a parenting plan themselves. In such instances, rather than litigating the matter, the attorneys can then simply submit the plan to the court for approval. 

Since families are all different and each has unique needs, different parenting plans may vary widely from one another. However, when crafting your own parenting plan, there are some common issues you should try to keep in mind:

  • Handling of changes or disputes to the agreement
  • Contact with family friends or extended family members (such as grandparents)
  • Visitation
  • Scheduling of special events, such as birthdays and holidays
  • Physical custody (i.e., where the child lives)
  • Legal custody (i.e., who gets to make which major decisions)

While deciding such matters in court may be unavoidable in some cases, children benefit from a settlement between their parents wherever possible as opposed to contested proceedings between them. More information regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities is available on our website. 

 

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