Custody, Visitation & Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

DK Law

Trusted Child Custody Lawyers in Oak Brook

If you need to establish a custody agreement in a divorce or are interested in pursuing a modification of an existing custody arrangement, the Law Office of David A. King, P.C. can help!

Protecting the Best Interests of Your Child

Our DuPage County child custody attorneys have an intimate understanding of Illinois custody and visitation laws to apply to your case. We believe in working closely with our clients to ensure their wishes and concerns are accurately addressed.

In complex, litigated custody disputes or through other collaborative means, our custody lawyers are prepared to protect your legal rights. We have been representing families across Oak Brook, DuPage County, and the surrounding areas since 1993. We are ready to put our knowledge and experience to work for you and your family and offer assistance with the following:

  • Allocation of Parenting Time
  • Allocation of Decision-Making Responsibilities
  • Visitation Interference
  • Restricted Parenting Time
  • Parental Alienation
  • Interstate Child Custody
  • Child Relocation within Illinois
  • Child Relocation Outside of Illinois

2016 Updates to Child Custody and Parental Visitation Laws in IL

For the last four decades, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) has provided the primary legal basis for most family law concerns throughout the state. Although the IMDMA has been gradually revised since it was originally enacted, many of its provisions have remained relatively untouched for almost 40 years.

In the spring of 2015, however, the Illinois State Legislature passed a measure that looked to substantially update the IMDMA on several different areas of focus. Senate Bill 57 was signed by the governor in August 2015, with the sweeping amendments set to take effect on January 1, 2016.

These changes primarily include:

  • Changing Visitation to “Parenting Time”
  • Stressing a Cooperative Parenting Approach to Raising a Child
  • No Longer Referring to Custody as “Sole Custody” or “Joint Custody”
  • The Removal of “Custodial” and “Non-Custodial” Labels from Parents
  • Respecting the Rights of Each Parent to Raising a Shared Child or Children

To learn more, call our practiced child custody attorneys at (630) 504-7210. We serve families throughout DuPage County, Cook, Kane and Will.

What is the Difference Between Child Custody vs. Allocation of Parental Responsibilities?

Under the updated IMDMA, parents and the courts have a new way to think about a child’s upbringing after a separation or divorce. Previously, custody was awarded in one of two ways: through sole or joint custody. Parents were referred to as custodial or non-custodial, labels that could create undue conflict.

Now, the entire concept of custody has been updated and replaced with a collaborative approach to parental responsibility. Parents are expected to work together in raising their children and are not labelled as custodial or non-custodial. Each parent’s rights are fully identified, protected, and respected in custody proceedings. However, one party will be considered the primary residential parent with the majority of parental responsibility, for purposes of child support, determining school district, etc.

In any such proceeding, the court expects divorcing or separating parents to present a proposed parenting plan, outlining the significant decision-making responsibilities each parent will have. The plan must also include a schedule for each parent’s time with the child, and a means for resolving future disagreements. If an agreement cannot be reached, the court is granted the discretion to allocate parental responsibilities between the parents as deemed to be in the child’s best interest.

Visitation Is Now “Parenting Time” in Illinois

Under the new IMDMA guidelines, one parent will typically be granted a majority of the parenting time (previously called visitation) so as to provide the child with a stable basis for school attendance and as the basis for a child support order. While the previous law presumed a parent’s right to reasonable visitation with his or her child, the amended law recognizes that a parent is much more than a temporary visitor in a child’s life. As such, the wording in the law has been changed, and a parent is now presumed to have the right to reasonable parenting time with the child, regardless of the amount of significant decision-making responsibilities he or she may have been allocated. In the event a court determines that a parent’s time with the child presents a danger to the child, it may impose limitations or restrictions to keep the child safe.

If you have questions regarding the newly-updated Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, it is important to speak with a qualified Oak Brook custody lawyer. We at the Law Office of David A. King, P.C. are here to provide insight that applies to your unique situation, and the competent counsel you need to reach a positive case result.