Thanks to legislation that was passed in Illinois last spring and signed by the governor last July, 2016 has been a year of change and adaptation in the realm of family law. While the new statutes address a wide variety of topics, perhaps the most important changes affect the way in which courts will now approach the idea of child custody. Beginning this year, in fact, the phrase child custody has been all but removed from the law, replaced by the allocation of parental responsibilities.
In the minds of many parents, child custody was once a very black-and-white issue. A parent was either granted sole custody or would share joint custody of a child following a divorce, separation, or other situation in which the parents stopped sharing a household. These two types of arrangements referred to the authority of each parent regarding major concerns in the child’s life, not just how much time the child spent with mom or dad. A parent with sole custody was responsible for all important decision-making, while parents with joint custody were responsible for developing a plan to make such decisions together.
A Customized Plan