It is no longer called custody in Illinois. The Court must now determine the 'Allocation of Parental Responsibility' and 'Allocation of Parenting Time'. The main terms include Parental responsibilities, Parenting Time, Parenting Plan, Caretaking Functions and Relocation. In determining the allocation of parental responibility if the parents cannot agree, the Court looks to the Best Interest of the children. The Court allocates decision making regarding teh children's health, education, religion and extracurriculars. The Court does not have to chose one parent exclusively.
ALLOCATION OF PARENTING TIME is determined by looking at the child's best interests based on 17 factors listed in 750 ILCS 5/602.7(b). They are:
1. Wishes of each parent seeking parenting time;
2. Wishes of the child, taking into account the child's maturity and ability to express reasoned and independent preferences as to parenting time;
3. Amount of time each parent spent performing caretaking functions in the 24 months prior to the filing of any petition for allocation of parenting time or if the child is under 2 years of age;
4. Any prior agreement or course of conduct between the parents relating to the caretaking functions with respect to the child;
5. The interaction and interrelationship ofd the child with his/her parents and the siblings and with any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests.
6. The child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
7. The mental and Physical health of all individuals involved;
8. The chiold's needs;
9. The distance between the parent's residences, the cost and difficulty of transporting the child, each parent's and the child's daily schedules, and the ability of the parents to cooperate int the arrangement;
10. Whether a restriction on parenting time is appropriate;
11. The physical violence or thread of physical violence by the child's parent directed against the child or any member of the child's household;
12. The willingness and ability of each parent to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs;
13. The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child;
14. The occurrence of abuse against the child or other member of the child's household;
15. Whether one of the parents is a convicted sex offender or lives with a convicted sex offender, and if so, the exact nature of the offense and what, if any treatment the offender has successfully participated in (the parties are entitled to a hearingon the issues raised in this paragraph);
16. Ther terms of a parent's military family-care plan that a parent must complete before deployment if a parent is a member of the US Armed Forces who is being deployed; AND
17. Any other factor that the Court expressly finds to be relevant.
Section 602.10 sets forth the requirements of the parenting plan and said plan must be filed within 120 days of service, if there is no agreement each party shall submit their proposed parenting plan to the Court within 120 days of filing unless in mediation. Additionally, the Court can enter orders restricting parenting time.
Mediation is still a requirement if the parties do not agree on a parenting plan.
There are 16 items that must be in a parenting plan under section 602.10(f), and there is now a form parenting plan that will be used in submitting parenting plans which set forth the items that are require to be included in the plan.