Child “Custody” Law In Illinois
by Divorce and Family Law Attorney James Andrle
Child “Custody” in Illinois
Hi this is Jim. I want to talk to you about a term that’s no longer in use in Illinois anymore, custody. People always come to me and say Jim I have joint custody. My kids live with me half the time. That’s not custody, that’s parenting time.
The term custody refers to decision making. Either you decided all of the relevant factors regarding your children together and jointly for joint custody, or you made all of the decisions on your own, it was called sole custody. That term of art is no longer used in Illinois it has been phased out by the legislation. The term is now called allocation of parental responsibilities and it still deals with decision making.
There is a big difference, however and how decision making is interpreted in the State of Illinois. It used to be the parties had to make all the decisions together or they made them all independently. Now allocation of parental responsibilities has been broken into four subsections: Religion, extracurricular activities, medical allocations and scholastic endeavors. And you can decide I still want to make all those decisions with my spouse or significant other, I want to make them all by myself or you can pick and choose. For example, maybe I am not that religious, I don’t want to have anything to do with religious aspects of the case but I do want to have a part in the extracurricular activities, but maybe I don’t want to have any decision making regarding medical, maybe I want to have all the decisions regarding scholastic endeavors. You can pick and choose which aspect of allocation of parental responsibilities that you would like to partake in.
We at Franks & Rechenberg always encourage our clients to have joint allocation of parental responsibilities but the option is now there which didn’t use to be there for parties seeking custody which no longer exists.