Family Law & Divorce
Allocation of Parenting Time and Parental Responsibilities/Decision-Making
Terms such as “custody,” “joint custody” and “visitation” are no longer used in Illinois Law. These terms have been replaced by the terms “parenting time” and “parental responsibility/decision making.” It used to be when a parent was awarded custody, that parent was awarded the decision-making authority on all major aspects of a child’s life, such as education, medical, religion, and extracurricular activities. The person who had custody was typically also awarded a majority of the time with that child. The parent who was awarded visitation, generally has less time than the custodial parent with the child and had no decision-making authority. The term joint custody usually meant the parents had joint decision-making, typically one parent or the other was awarded more time with the child, or what they would term “primary custody” or “primary residential custody.” The parents are now either awarded sole decision-making authority, or parents can be awarded joint decision-making authority. Instead of awarding visitation, parenting time is designated now between the two parents. Usually one parent is designated as the child’s primary residence for school purposes only.