There have been a number of changes made to Illinois family law that went into effect January 2016. The reasoning behind these changes dates back to spring of 2015 when the Illinois state legislature passed a measure that looked to update the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) on multiple areas of focus. After Senate Bill 57 was signed by the governor in August 2015 adjustments to the laws were expected to begin at the start of 2016. Whether you are going through a divorce, just went through one, or are considering having a divorce, these key revisions to Illinois family can change the way you have been parenting based on the previous laws of 2015.
Child Custody Then vs. Now
Last year at this time, Illinois law provided two options for parenting situations. Divorced or separated parents had the option of either sole custody or joint custody. Sole custody was when one parent would be granted the authority for important decision-making regarding their child, while joint custody meant that both parents would have to share responsibilities. At the beginning of 2016, the law went into place that states that parents must work together in raising their child and each parent’s rights will be fully respected and protected.
With this new law, there is still a primary residential parent that obtains the majority of parental responsibility regarding child support, determining school district, etc. This change has made it a rule for parents to create a proposed parenting plan in court that outlines the significant decision-making responsibilities each parent will have. If disagreements cannot be resolved regarding parenting responsibilities, the court is allowed to assign parental responsibilities between the parents as deemed to be in the child’s best interest.
Visitation Is Now Called Parenting Time
As the name changed so did the laws that came with it. Today one parent will typically be presented with the majority of the parenting time to provide their child with more stability. A parent is also allowed the right to reasonable parenting time regardless of the amount of decision-making responsibilities he or she may have. Although, if the parent presents a danger to the child, the court may discontinue or limit the parenting time.
If you have questions regarding child custody, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney to find out what your legal options may be. Call 630-879-9090 to schedule a consultation with Attorney Van A. Larson.