Laura Gottlieb Answers:
In 2016, the law changed. Illinois no longer uses the term custody. Custody has been changed to parental allocation responsibility, which is decision making. Visitation is now called parenting time, which is the time during which each parent is responsible for the children. This new terminology is less stigmatizing and helps keep the focus on the children’s needs and interests, versus the parent’s wishes.
Parental allocation responsibilities is divided into 4 categories: education, health, religion, and extra-curricular activities. The court or the parties can agree to one or both of the parents the significant decision-making responsibility for each significant issue affecting the child. The court will look at the family’s past behaviors and patterns to determine which parent should make the different decisions for the child.
A parental responsibility award may be modified more than two years after the prior award if “a substantial change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or of either parent, and that a modification is necessary to serve the child’s best interest. A parental responsibility award may be modified more than two years after the prior award without a showing of a substantial change in circumstances, if the modification serves the child’s best interest