Does the joint parenting agreement from your Illinois divorce need updating? It might, based on several new family and divorce laws taking effect in 2016.
Parents who are already divorced or still in the process of divorce planning should be aware of how these changes will affect them and of the potential for more court involvement in post-divorce parenting arrangements.
RE-DEFINED ILLINOIS PARENTING AGREEMENT
After January 1, 2016, a parenting order will be referred to as an “allocation judgment.” In addition, under the new laws, the Court can allocate parenting plan rulings (formerly called visitation) and can also assign specific parenting and decision-making responsibilities to each party. These include:
- Extracurricular activities
- Nutritional needs
- Bedtime/wake-up routines
- Illness and injury care
- Hygiene, grooming, dressing
- Ensuring attendance at activities
- Protection of child's safety
MODIFIED ILLINOIS PARENTING AGREEMENT
In addition, any changes or modifications by the Court to a parenting plan or allocation judgment will now be considered and determined by a preponderance of evidence rather than the higher standard of clear and convincing proof.
This means that the Court will be involved in many more parenting issues than before, which may help some parents but may also be an invasion of privacy to others.
MAKING USE OF MEDIATION FOR WORKABLE ILLINOIS PARENTING AGREEMENT
Developing a professional relationship with a divorce mediator or attorney can help separated parents maintain control and privacy and prevent over-involvement of the court in the parenting of their children.
My practice offers family mediation and collaborative divorce services by trained professionals. We show divorced parents how to work as a team to reduce or eliminate the Court's involvement in their parenting duties. Contact me for more information.