While fewer people are getting divorced each year, the laws governing what will happen in these cases are constantly being analyzed and adjusted to ensure that you and your family will receive the best decision possible. This is especially true when it comes to children. The Daily Journal has reported that child support and custody laws in Illinois recently went through a major overhaul that could have a big effect on divorcing couples.
The articles states that these laws were designed to lessen lengthy legal battles that can negatively affect your family. As parents, you are now encouraged to work together to come up with a parenting plan that best meets the needs of your children. If you both agree to a plan, the court will approve it unless it believes one of you agreed involuntarily.
A parenting plan divides authority and will determine several aspects of your child’s daily life, including which of you will decide healthcare decisions and doctors, religious devotions, school choices and extracurricular activities. This agreement will also allow you and your ex-spouse to determine together how much time the child will spend with each of you.
The terms “parental responsibility” and “parenting time” are replacing “visitation” and “custody,” giving rise to the court’s goals that you will both see yourselves as partners in raising their children and work toward whatever is in the best interest of your child. If you are unable to agree upon a plan, the court will decide one for you.
These changes will also affect child support, although how that will happen is less clear. Judges may have to deviate from old guidelines to make payments fair since it is believed that the child will be splitting time more equally now between both of you. This information is not intended as legal advice.