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IL custody lawyerIf you recently went through a divorce and have minor children from your marriage, you may also have a parenting plan in place that allocates parental responsibilities. Your parenting plan may include the allocation of significant decision-making responsibilities under Illinois law, as well as the allocation of parenting time. There are a wide variety of reasons that one or both parents may want to modify an existing parenting plan. One of the parents, for example, might have started a new job that has significantly different hours and limits that parent’s ability to provide caretaking functions on certain weekends that are currently part of that parent’s parenting time. Or, for example, the child’s extracurricular or school schedule might have changed, meaning that the parents’ schedules will also need to change.

Whatever the reason is for modifying an existing parenting plan, and especially an allocation of parenting time, it is important to know what your options might be. If you have questions or need assistance, one of the experienced DuPage County child custody attorneys at Farooqi & Husain Law Office can speak with you today.

Parents Can Agree to Modify a Parenting Plan

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) clarifies that modification of an existing parenting plan is always possible by “stipulation of the parties.” In other words, if one or both of the parents want to modify the existing parenting plan and both parents agree to that modification, they can do so. In general, modifications are generally straightforward and relatively easy when both parties agree to a modification—whether for a parenting plan or another post-divorce order.

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IL custody lawyerIf you are considering divorce in DuPage County and you have minor children from your marriage, you will need to learn more about child custody laws in Illinois. For most members of the Muslim community in DuPage County, the months before and during your divorce will be the first time that you learn about child custody or the allocation of parental responsibilities. To help prepare you for your child custody case, our DuPage County child custody attorneys have a list of important child custody facts that you will likely want to consider as you move forward with your divorce.

1. Illinois Law Now Discusses Child Custody in Terms of “Parental Responsibilities”

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), you will no longer find any reference to child custody awards, or to physical custody and legal custody. Instead, Illinois law now discusses child custody in terms of “parental responsibilities.” Rather than awarding child custody in sole or joint terms to parents, courts now allocate parental responsibilities, with flexibility for different types of family situations.

2. Parental Responsibilities Include Significant Decision-Making Responsibilities and Parenting Time

Parental responsibilities now include significant decision-making responsibilities (similar to legal custody) and parenting time (similar to physical custody and visitation). Parents can share these responsibilities in a variety of ways based on what is in the best interests of the child.

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IL family lawyerIf you are considering divorce or currently are in the process of getting divorced and have minor children from your marriage, we know that you probably have many questions about child custody in DuPage County. If you have spoken with a family law attorney, or if you have a family member or friend who recently got divorced, you likely know that Illinois does not use the term “child custody” any longer. Courts do not award legal custody or physical custody when parents get divorced, and accordingly Illinois law no longer use the term “visitation.” Instead, you may know that courts in the state now use terms that include “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time” to refer to who makes legal decisions about the child’s upbringing and the amount of time that a parent physically spends with the child.

Yet these new terms can get confusing. We often work with clients who want to know: what is the difference between parental responsibilities and parenting time? In short, parenting time is part of the overarching “parental responsibilities,” but we will explain more about how each of these terms is defined and used under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). If you need help with your case, a DuPage County child custody lawyer can speak with you today.

Defining Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time Under the IMDMA

The term “parental responsibilities” is the overarching language that is now used in Illinois instead of “child custody.” The statute defines parental responsibilities as parenting time and significant decision-making responsibilities. As you can see, the term parental responsibilities is the more general, overarching term under which specific parental responsibilities are housed. Parenting time is defined as one form of parental responsibility, while significant decision-making responsibilities is the other form of parental responsibility. In effect, the term “parenting time” replaces the terms “physical custody” and “visitation,” while the term “significant decision-making responsibilities” replaces the term “legal custody.”

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IL alimony lawyerWhat happens when a parent in Illinois wants to relocate with his or her child after a divorce? After you go through a divorce and begin sharing parental responsibilities with your former spouse, it is important to remember that unexpected events may arise that necessitate a modification to your parenting plan or your allocation judgment. One of the reasons that you may seek to modify your parenting plan or allocation judgment is that you want to relocate with your child.

How difficult is relocation, and what do you need to know about how it is handled under Illinois law?

Defining Relocation Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act

How far away do you want to move with your child? Whether you have a majority of parenting time or share parenting time nearly equally with the other parent, do you even need to make any changes to your current parenting plan if you are moving to another house or apartment? The answers to these questions depend upon whether your planned move would actually be defined under the IMDMA as “relocation.”

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